SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
The current study was done in CHU Saint-Pierre, a large referral center in Brussels, Belgium. Between 2013 and 2014, blood test for TSH, free T4 and TPO antibody were obtained from 2261 pregnant women visiting in their first visit in Obstetric Clinics. Also information about age, Body mass index (BMI), smoking, drug use and parity as well as ethnicity (reported by patient) was collected. A total of 481 women from Sub-Saharan Africa, 754 women from North African descent, and 448 Caucasian women were entered into the study.
The study found that Caucasian women were younger, had a lower BMI but were more often smokers. Sub-Saharan and North African women had a slightly lower average TSH (1.3 mU/L for Sub-Saharan, 1.4 mU/L for North African and 1.5 mU/L for Caucasian women). Caucasian women had a higher rate of positive TPO antibodies.
Based on the TSH results obtained in this study, the authors calculated the normal range of TSH for each ethnic group. They compared the rate of diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism in each group once based on the normal range of TSH they had for their institution and once based on the normal range of TSH found in this study for each ethnic groups. No difference in the number of women diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism was found between the two groups.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
In this study of Belgian pregnant women, TSH level was lower in women of African decent. Also they had a lower rate of positive TPO antibodies. However, these changes did not lead to an increased risk of hypothyroidism. These result are interesting and further research is needed to determine the implication of these changes during pregnancy.
— Shirin Haddady, MD, MPH
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Thyroid and Pregnancy: https://www.thyroid.org/ thyroid-disease-pregnancy/
Hypothyroidism (Underactive): https://www.thyroid.org/ hypothyroidism/