Both gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy compromise maternal and fetal health. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of abnormal thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies during early pregnancy in a population at high risk for GDM. Serum free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured in 301 pregnant women who underwent routine 'universal screening' for GDM. The antithyroid peroxidase antibody (antiTPOAb) was also quantified in 255 of these women. GDM was confirmed by a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test using World Health Organization criteria. No statistically significant difference was found between the 80 (26.6%) women with GDM and the 221 (73.4%) women without GDM for any of the thyroid function tests. In the cohort tested for antiTPOAb, the 51 (20.0%) women who were positive for antiTPOAb had higher mean TSH (1.57 ± 2.49 mIU/l; p < 0.001) than the women negative for antiTPOAb. Seventeen (5.6%) women had low FT4 while 12 (4.0%) women had high TSH; 28 (9.3%) women had low serum TSH, among whom three (1.0%) also had high FT4. The significantly higher prevalence of hypothyroxinemia and antiTPOAb titers than generally reported warrants routine screening for thyroid abnormalities. This screening, which can be effectively and easily incorporated into screening practices already in place for GDM, would result in improved obstetric care.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus
- Thyroid antibodies
- Thyroid function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology