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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 526-530

Low maternal iodine intake and early pregnancy hypothyroxinemia: Possible repercussions for children

1 Department of RIA and Biochemistry, Centre for Nuclear Medicine (CENUM), Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
2 Institute of Chemistry, New Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Shan Elahi
Centre for Nuclear Medicine (CENUM), PO Box No. 53, Mayo Hospital, Lahore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.137513

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Objective: Recent studies have shown that early pregnancy hypothyroxinemia (lower free thyroxin [FT 4 ] and normal thyroid stimulating hormone [TSH] concentration) has deleterious effects on neuro-intellectual development of children. This study was designed to know its incidence in local pregnant women. Materials and Methods: Urinary iodine (UI) and serum thyroid related hormone (FT 4 , free triiodothyronine [FT 3 ], and TSH) were determined in 254 pregnant women during the first trimester. UI and thyroid related hormones were determined by colorimetric (Sandell-Kolthoff) and radioimmunoassay method respectively. Results: Most of the pregnant women (n = 202; 79.5%) were iodine deficient (ID; UI <100 μg/L) and only 52 (20.5%) women were taking sufficient iodine (IS; UI ≥ 100 μg/L). Mean levels of FT 4 , FT 3 , and TSH were 13.0 ± 2.8 pmol/L, 3.8 ± 1.1 pmol/L and 1.2 ± 1.1 mIU/L, respectively. Maternal FT 4 levels were significantly correlated with UI (r = 0.36; P < 0.001). Mean FT 4 level in IS women was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than ID women. However, mean FT 3 and TSH levels were not significantly different in both groups. FT 4 reference range in IS pregnant women was 10.2-19.4 pmol/L. Hypothyroxinemia (FT 4 <10.2 pmol/L and TSH <2.5 mIU/L) was diagnosed in 30 (11.8%) pregnant women. Its incidence was almost entirely confined to ID pregnant women with an odd ratio of 8.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.1-64.3). Conclusion: About 12% pregnant women residing in urban areas of Pakistan are hypothyroxinemic because of low iodine intake.

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