Pregnancy, postpartum and the thyroid: Isn't it time to offer women optimal care?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In 2011, the American Thyroid association published guidelines concerning the attitude toward maternal thyroid (dys)function during pregnancy and postpartum. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists also ­recommend a case-finding approach although several studies has shown that up to 50% of women with thyroid dysfunction will be missed. Recently, it was shown that 0.6% of all pregnant women suffer from unknown overt hypothyroidism as a consequence of not screening: annually 1000 women in the Netherlands, 6000 in UK and over 24.000 in the US. Cost-effective studies have shown that screening of all pregnant women is beneficial.
This commentary criticizes the guidelines that (incorrectly) use RCT principles rather than following the more modern concepts of preventive medicine. Assessing a risk profile for an endocrine syndrome does not necessarily mean intervention per se. Informing women that they are at great risk for developing future thyroid dysfunction might help to reduce the tremendous patient and doctor delay of diagnosing hypothyroidism in pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
JournalFacts, Views and Vision in Obstetrics and Gynaecolgy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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