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Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy Linked to Thyroid Disease

11.08.16 |

The iron is used by the body not only to transport the oxygen, but also for the normal functioning of vital processes occurring in the cells.


During pregnancy, the needs of iron are tripled due to the expansion of the blood and the growth of the foetus and placenta. Over the years, iron deficiency has been establish as a risk for pregnancy complications.


A Belgium group studied iron deficiency in pregnant women in the city of Brussels and whether this was associated with thyroid  disease.  The researchers found out that that 35% of almost 2000 pregnant women had iron deficiency, indicating that even today in a metropolitan area, iron deficiency remains an important problem.  Also, it  was associated with a higher prevalence of thyroid disorders. Some of these disorders have been associated in both spontaneous and assisted pregnancies with  impaired outcomes, including (recurrent) miscarriage, preterm delivery, low birth weight and postpartum thyroiditis.


This seems to indicate that this harmful impact of iron deficiency in pregnancy might may in part have been mediated through the thyroid pathway.  The authors of this study go as far as recommend iron deficiency should be added as an additional risk factor in order to detect more women with thyroid disorders.


Source: Poppe et al Prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity and dysfunction in women with iron deficiency during early pregnancy: is it altered? Eur J Endocrinol July 22, 2016 EJE-16-0288