Study probes thyroid issues in pregnant women

January 3, 2012 9:55:06 AM PST
A new study raises new questions about how to treat mild thyroid problems in pregnant women.

Since 1999, numerous studies have found that an underactive thyroid can raise a woman's risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or a lower IQ for her baby.

Researchers at Quest Diagnostics recently examined records for half a million pregnant women. Approximately 15 percent had an underactive thyroid -- mostly mild cases-- but that is five times higher than previous estimates.

Serious cases of underactive thyroid are treated with a hormone pill, but there is little evidence that treating milder cases makes a difference.

The study is in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.