E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

ACE Inhibitors - Increased Risk of Birth Defects

7th June 2007

According to a study by researchers at Vanderbilt and Boston Universities, ACE Inhibitors (drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure but used extensively for those who have suffered from HUS, Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome) have been linked to birth defects if taken by the expectant mother during the first trimester of her pregnancy.

Researchers gathered data from the medical records of 29,507 new-borns.  209 of their mothers had taken ACE inhibitors during the first trimester of pregnancy.  18 of them were born with birth defects, of which 9 had heart defects.

Expectant mothers taking ACE inhibitors during their first trimester were 2.7 times as likely to have a baby with a birth defect than mothers who did not take the drug at this time.

The researchers say that any woman who is pregnant or planning to start a family should avoid taking ACE inhibitors.  It is vital that all women of child-bearing age, and their health care providers, are aware of this so that alternative medications can be identified.

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