Expanded findings from a randomized controlled trial of preconception low-dose aspirin and pregnancy loss

Sunni L. Mumford, Robert M. Silver, Lindsey A. Sjaarda, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Janet M. Townsend, Anne M. Lynch, Noya Galai, Laurie L. Lesher, David Faraggi, Neil J. Perkins, Karen C. Schliep, Shvetha M. Zarek, Enrique F. Schisterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


STUDY QUESTION What is the association between daily preconception-initiated low-dose aspirin (LDA) treatment and very early pregnancy losses or euploid (chromosomally normal) losses among women with one to two prior losses? SUMMARY ANSWER Daily LDA initiated preconception was not associated with the rate or type of pregnancy loss among women with a history of one to two prior pregnancy losses. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY LDA is often used to treat recurrent pregnancy loss with reductions in pregnancy loss generally only observed among women with antiphospholipid antibodies, and null associations observed among women without antiphospholipid antibodies. We previously evaluated the association between LDA and pregnancy loss overall among women with one to two prior losses in the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction (EAGeR) trial and found no association, though did not distinguish between potential effects at different stages of pregnancy loss, including implantation failure, or between euploid and aneuploid losses. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION The EAGeR trial was a multi-site prospective block-randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. In total, 1228 women were randomized to daily LDA (81 mg/day) plus folic acid (400 mcg/day), or placebo plus folic acid. Participants were assigned study drug for less than or equal to six menstrual cycles or if they conceived, throughout pregnancy with study drug discontinued at 36 weeks gestation. This analysis includes additional outcome information obtained from chart abstractions after the completion of the trial, as well as testing of stored urine for measurement of hCG and detection of very early pregnancy losses, and karyotyping of the products of conception for assessment of aneuploidy of the losses. PARTICIPANTS, SETTING, METHODS Women aged 18-40 with a history of one to two prior losses and actively trying to conceive were randomized (n = 615 LDA and n = 613 placebo) at four clinical centers in the USA (2007-2011). Log-binomial regression was used to estimate risk ratios under the intent-to-treat approach. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE Daily LDA initiated preconception was not associated with clinically recognized pregnancy losses or implantation failures among women with proved fecundity and a history of one to two prior losses. Specifically, 1088 (88.6%) women completed the trial with 797 having an hCG detected pregnancy (64.9%). Overall there were 133 clinical losses (12.7% LDA versus 11.8% placebo, P = 0.71) and 55 implantation failures (5.2% LDA versus 4.9% placebo, P = 0.89). No differences were found in rate of euploid losses (RR 1.11, 95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.26). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Generalizability of these findings is limited to women with a history of one to two prior losses, and may further be limited to women of white race with higher socioeconomic status as given the rigors of the study protocol participants tended to be white and have higher incomes and more education. We were also missing karyotype information on approximately one-third of the clinically recognized pregnancy losses, which may limit our power to detect effects on euploid losses, though detailed sensitivity analysis showed similar results. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS Our data do not support the general use of LDA to decrease pregnancy loss and further demonstrate no increased risk of loss for women on LDA treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-665
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.


  • conception
  • fertility
  • live birth
  • low-dose aspirin
  • pregnancy loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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