Pregnant women with thyroid problems face a greater risk of birth complications, according to new research.
Pre-term birth and other complications that affect the short and long term health of both the mother and child, can result when pregnant women have either an underactive thyroid - known as hypothyroidism, or an overactive thyroid - known as hyperthyroidism.
Up to 4% of pregnancies involve mothers with thyroid conditions, and these risks have been concluded by a recent report accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
Researchers studied the electronic medical records from 223,512 pregnancies where a single child was born, using data from the Consortium of Safe Labour study, performed between 2002 and 2008. The aim was to determine the rate of complications among women with thyroid conditions.
Developing birth complications such as preeclampsia and a more frequent admittance to intensive care, was found among women who had thyroid conditions. Women with an underactive thyroid, the most common thyroid condition during pregnancy, were also found to be more likely to develop gestational diabetes, and had a higher rate of cesarean births.
One of the study's authors Pauline Mendola, PhD, of the NIH's NICHD, commented on the study findings: "Women need appropriate thyroid hormone levels to support a healthy pregnancy, so it is very important to carefully monitor expecting mothers who have thyroid diseases."
Copyright Press Association 2013