Coenzyme Q10 levels in women with preeclampsia living at different altitudes

Biofactors. 2008;32(1-4):185-90. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520320122.


Background: Preeclampsia is a common disorder of pregnancy exhibiting abnormal plasma and placental coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels when compared to normal pregnancies.

Objective: To evaluate CoQ10 levels both in plasma and placenta among normal pregnant (n = 60) and preeclamptic (n = 63) primigravid women and determine the effect of high or low altitude residency.

Study design: CoQ10 was determined using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) technique and group comparisons were performed.

Results: Preeclamptic women living at high altitude displayed significantly lower CoQ10 plasma levels (0.64 +/- 0.23 vs. 0.82 +/- 0.46 micromol/L, p = 0.05). No differences were found in CoQ10 plasma levels among women living at sea level. Interestingly, plasma CoQ10 levels at low altitude in normal pregnancies were significantly lower than high altitude normal pregnancies. Compared to normal pregnancies, preeclamptic women displayed higher placental CoQ10 content, which was only significant among those living at sea level (0.120 +/- 0.07 vs. 0.076 +/- 0.04 ng/mg protein, p < 0.005). Normal pregnant women living at high altitude displayed higher placental CoQ10 content when compared to those residing at sea level (p < 0.0005).

Conclusion: Women suffering from preeclampsia (high or low altitude) display high placental CoQ10 content, with significant low plasma CoQ10 levels among those residing in high altitude. More research is warranted to establish the cause-effect relationship between CoQ10 levels and preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altitude*
  • Ecuador
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10