Iron Deficient Women Risk Complications

Iron Deficient Women

Iron deficient women risk complications during pregnancy a new study suggests.

A third of pregnant women have iron deficiency, putting them at increased risk of having a thyroid disorder and suffering complications such as miscarriages and preterm births. These are the conclusions of a new study published today in European Journal of Endocrinology.

Pregnant women need to make enough thyroid hormone for the full development of their babies’ brains, which is especially critical during the first semester when the fetus hasn’t developed a thyroid gland of its own. Thyroid autoimmunity is a disease where the immune system mistakenly destroys healthy thyroid cells; causing thyroid hormone levels to fall. It can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women.

Iron is important for the normal functioning of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), a protein essential for the correct functioning of the thyroid. Iron deficiency affects one in five of the world’s population, but can be more prevalent in pregnant women, who need triple the daily requirements to make more red blood cells and help the fetus and placenta grow.

The researchers’ next step is to find out whether pregnancy outcomes were affected by the higher rates of thyroid autoimmunity, iron deficiency or both. They will also investigate whether it is iron deficiency that causes thyroid autoimmunity or the other way around, though other studies support the first of these two hypotheses.

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Researchers in Europe Find Newborn TSH Screening varies by Ethnicity

It seems that the European Society of Endocrinology has done several studies on how poor thyroid function increases complications during pregnancy and is looking at adjusting the TSH cutoff  point.

Blood spot data from more than 800,000 newborns in the United Kingdom suggest mean thyroid-stimulating hormone levels in this population vary by ethnicity, according to recently published results, prompting researchers to recommend that health care providers consider ethnic diversity when setting a cutoff thyroid-stimulating hormone level in screening for congenital hypothyroidism.

This study did not link high TSH in newborns to iron deficient women, however.

Here is the full report:



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