The approach not to screen thyroid function of all pregnant women is mainly based on conflicting evidence of whether treatment of women with mild hypothyroidism is beneficial. However, there is consensus that all women with overt hypothyroidism (OH) and those with a thyrotropin (TSH) >10 mIU/L should be treated immediately, but data on these conditions are scarce. We assessed the prevalence of OH and a TSH >10 mIU/L during the first trimester of pregnancy. Methods: Thyroid function was assessed at 10-12 weeks gestation in 4199 Dutch Caucasian healthy pregnant women from three studies conducted in 2002, 2005, and 2013 from the same iodine sufficient area in the southeast of The Netherlands. We defined the first trimester specific cutoffs (2.5th-97.5th percentile) for TSH and free thyroxine (fT4) in thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO-Ab) negative women in each study to determine the prevalence of women with OH and those with a TSH >10 mIU/L. We extrapolated these figures to the pregnant population of 2012 in The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
|Comment-As highlighted, time for a change. While we can still research the effects of treatment for SCH, the obvious and known benefits of universal screening (at least by TSH assay) merit institution now.|