Research just published in the British Medical Journal
has shown that women who develop the condition known as preeclampsia
during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism) in the last weeks of pregnancy, and may also may face an increased risk of hypothyroidism later in life, even decades after the pregnancy. The greatest risk of hypothyroidism developing over time was seen in women who had more than one pregnancy in which preeclampsia occurred.
Preeclampsia occurs in an estimated 3% to 5% of pregnant women, and involves onset of high blood pressure and protein in the urine in a pregnant after her 20th week of pregnancy. The condition can be dangerous for both the mother and fetus.
The implications of the findings are for women who develop preeclampsia, in that they should be monitored for the development of cardiovascular and renal disease, as well as development of hypothyroidism.
Source: Levine, Richard J, Vatten, Lars et. Al. "Pre-eclampsia, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1, and the risk of reduced thyroid function: nested case-control and population based study." British Medical Journal. 2009;339:b4336 Published 17 November 2009 Online
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