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Overweight increases risk of trimester hypothyroxinaemia in iodine-deficient pregnant woman

Gowachirapant, S.; Boonstra, A.; Winichagoon, P.; Zimmerman, M.B.

Abstract

Hypothyroxinaemia early in pregnancy may impair fetal brain development. Increased body weight has been associated with low thyroxine concentrations in non-pregnant women. In pregnant women, morbid maternal obesity is a risk factor for thyroid dysfunction. But whether lesser degrees of overweight that are much more common could be a risk factor for hypothyroxinaemia in pregnancy is unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate if overweight increases risk for thyroid dysfunction, and specifically hypothyroxinaemia, in iodine-deficient pregnant women. We performed a cross-sectional study at first hospital visit among healthy Thai pregnant women. We measured weight and height, urinary iodine concentration (UIC), serum thyroid hormones and thyroglobulin. Pre-pregnancy weight and relevant dietary factors were determined by questionnaire, and body mass index (BMI) was used to classify weight status. Among 514 women (mean gestational age, 11 weeks) with a median UIC of 111¿µg¿dL–1, indicating mild iodine deficiency, 12% had low free thyroxine (fT4) concentrations: 3% had overt hypothyroidism; 7% had subclinical hypothyroidism; and 8% had isolated hypothyroxinaemia. Based on pre-pregnancy BMI, 26% of women were overweight or obese. In a multiple regression model, BMI was a negative predictor of fT4 (ß¿=¿-0.20, P¿