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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1812
Giulio OZZOLA 1, Elena GIANETTI 2, Massimo TONACCHERA 2, Lucia GASBARRI 1, Carlo MONTAINI 3
1 Department of Clinical Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging, Chemical, Clinical, and Microbiological Analysis Laboratory, Local Health Unit no. 8, Arezzo, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Investigational Medicine, Endocrinology Unit, Pisa University, Pisa University Hospital, Pisa, Italy; 3 Casentino Area Director, Local Health Unit no. 8, Arezzo, Italy
BACKGROUND: 1) To assess thyroid function in a group of women in the first trimester of pregnancy who reside in a geographic area of moderate iodine deficiency. 2) To assess the usefulness of early pregnancy screening.
METHODS: The study population included 240 women in the first trimester of pregnancy residing in the same valley in the Appenine Mountains (Casentino, Tuscany) characterized by a known moderate iodine deficiency. TSH, FT3, FT4, urinary iodine level, and anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (anti-TPO antibodies) were added to the tests included in the regional prescription pad for the first blood draw and data on thyroid disease and the use of iodized salt was also recorded.
RESULTS: Of the 240 women examined, 55 (23%) had a TSH value over 2.5 mUI/L (NV= 2.51-9.89). A urinary iodine level of under 150µg/L was found in 170 women (70%). The median urinary iodine level in women using iodized salt was 103 µg/L, while that in women not using it was 110µg/L (not a significant statistical difference). None of the women included in the study were taking iodine-containing supplements.
CONCLUSIONS: In an area of known moderate iodine deficiency 23% of the women presented TSH values over 2.5 mUI/L and 70% of the women presented urinary iodine deficiency in the first trimester of pregnancy. This makes the case for thyroid function screening and strengthening of iodine supplementation at the beginning of pregnancy.