"These findings add to the now increasing evidence from previous studies that all pregnant women, irrespective of their risk for thyroid problems, probably should be screened for thyroid dysfunction within the first three months of getting pregnant," said study lead author Jubbin Jagan Jacob, M.D., associate professor at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana in Punjab, India.
Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck, and helps regulate the process of turning food into energy. Excessively low hormone production, or hypothyroidism, may cause symptoms like fatigue, sensitivity to cold temperatures, constipation, and depression.
During pregnancy untreated, hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and other serious complications. Although previous research has suggested that women with moderate thyroid dysfunction, or subclinical hypothyroidism, also are more likely to suffer complications, the level of risk was uncertain.
In this study, investigators found that even mild thyroid dysfunction that did not meet the criteria for hypothyroidism greatly increased the risk of serious problems. Compared to pregnant women with normal thyroid function, the risk was:
- doubled for miscarriage (¡Ü20 weeks of pregnancy), premature labor, and low birth weight
- seven times greater for still birth
Screening for hypothyroidism involves taking a thorough history of symptoms, as well as a simple blood test to measure levels of another hormone, called thyroid-stimulating-hormone, or TSH, that promotes thyroid-hormone production. At this time, only pregnant women with clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism are routinely tested. Once diagnosed, the condition can be effectively controlled with medication that replaces natural thyroid hormone with a synthetic version.
Investigators recruited 1,000 pregnant women in their first trimester of pregnancy for the study, as part of a larger project of routine thyroid screening during early pregnancy. They then measured the level of thyroid functioning using the TSA test.
Normal thyroid function was identified in 533 patients, and 263 had mild dysfunction. The remaining patients were diagnosed with hypothyroidism and withdrawn from the study for treatment. Follow-up continued until the completion of pregnancy.
Jacob and his team then compared rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and low birth weight. They also analyzed several other complications, as well, but these did not differ significantly between women with normal versus moderately low thyroid functioning.
"Our conclusions are that all pregnant women need to be screened for thyroid dysfunction at their first visit," Jacob said. "This should form the basis for the national societies to make a change in their guidelines." Christian Medical College and Hospital funded the study.
Aaron Lohr | EurekAlert!
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy