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Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Sep 1;178(5):731-40. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt031. Epub 2013 May 10.

Neonatal outcomes and birth weight in pregnancies complicated by maternal thyroid disease.

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Epidemiology Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


Maternal hypothyroidism has previously been shown to increase risk for neonatal intensive care treatment, but otherwise the association between thyroid diseases and neonatal morbidity is understudied. The Consortium on Safe Labor, a retrospective cohort (2002-2008), included 223,512 singleton deliveries of which 0.2% had hyperthyroidism, 1.4% primary and 0.1% iatrogenic hypothyroidism, and 1.3% other/unspecified thyroid disease. Logistic regression with generalized estimating equations estimated adjusted odds ratios of adverse outcomes. Intensive care treatment was more common for neonates of women with thyroid disease. Hyperthyroidism and primary hypothyroidism were associated with sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea, and apnea. Iatrogenic hypothyroidism was associated with sepsis and neonatal anemia. Hyperthyroidism was also associated with rare outcomes (prevalence, <1%) including cardiomyopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, and neonatal thyroid diseases. Hyperthyroid non-Hispanic black women had higher odds of term infants that weighed <2,500 g, and hypothyroid non-Hispanic white women had higher odds of large-for-gestational-age infants. These analyses were stratified by race/ethnicity due to interaction. Associations were similar in analyses restricted to term infants. In conclusion, thyroid diseases were associated with increased neonatal morbidity. Although we lacked data on treatment during pregnancy, these nationwide data suggest a need for better thyroid disease management to reduce neonatal morbidity.


anemia, neonatal; birth weight; intensive care, neonatal; pregnancy; respiratory distress syndrome, newborn; thyroid diseases

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