Obstetrics & Gynecology

Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2010 - Volume 116 - Issue 3 > Vitamin C and E Supplementation to Prevent Spontaneous Prete...
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181ed721d
Original Research

Vitamin C and E Supplementation to Prevent Spontaneous Preterm Birth: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Hauth, John C. MD; Clifton, Rebecca G. PhD; Roberts, James M. MD; Spong, Catherine Y. MD; Myatt, Leslie PhD; Leveno, Kenneth J. MD; Pearson, Gail D. MD, ScD; Varner, Michael W. MD; Thorp, John M. Jr MD; Mercer, Brian M. MD; Peaceman, Alan M. MD; Ramin, Susan M. MD; Sciscione, Anthony DO; Harper, Margaret MD; Tolosa, Jorge E. MD, MSCE; Saade, George MD; Sorokin, Yoram MD; Anderson, Garland B. MD; for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network (MFMU)

Supplemental Author Material
Collapse Box


OBJECTIVE: To estimate whether maternally administered vitamins C and E lower the risk of spontaneous preterm birth.

METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial in nulliparous women at low-risk administered 1,000 mg vitamin C and 400 international units vitamin E or placebo daily from 9 to 16 weeks of gestation until delivery. Outcomes include preterm birth attributable to premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and total spontaneous preterm births (spontaneous preterm birth attributable to PROM or spontaneous labor).

RESULTS: Of the 10,154 women randomized, outcome data were available for 9,968 (4,992 vitamin group and 4,976 placebo group). A total of 1,038 women (10.4%) delivered preterm, of whom 698 (7.0%) had spontaneous preterm birth. A spontaneous preterm birth occurred in 356 women (7.1%) assigned to daily vitamin C and E supplementation and in 342 (6.9%) assigned to placebo. There were 253 women (2.5%) who delivered after preterm PROM and 445 (4.5%) after a spontaneous preterm labor. In women supplemented with vitamins C and E, births attributed to preterm PROM were similar at less than 37 and 35 weeks of gestation, but births were less frequent before 32 weeks of gestation (0.3% compared with 0.6%, adjusted odds ratio 0.3–0.9). However, total spontaneous preterm births across gestation in women supplemented with vitamins C and E or a placebo were similar.

CONCLUSION: Maternal supplementation with vitamins C and E beginning at 9 to 16 weeks of gestation in nulliparous women at low risk did not reduce spontaneous preterm births.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00135707.


© 2010 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.



Looking for ABOG articles? Visit our ABOG MOC II collection. The selected Green Journal articles are free through the end of the calendar year.


If you are an ACOG Fellow and have not logged in or registered to Obstetrics & Gynecology, please follow these step-by-step instructions to access journal content with your member subscription.

Article Tools


Article Level Metrics