Thyroid issues during pregnancy 'may be linked to gestational diabetes'

Women who experience thyroid dysfunctions in the first half of their pregnancies may be at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to research.

US scientists analysed the medical records of 107 women with gestational diabetes and 214 other pregnant women, finding evidence that higher thyroid hormone levels were an indicator of gestational diabetes starting early in pregnancy.

This suggests that screening for thyroid dysfunction could be an effective means of diagnosing gestational diabetes, a common complication of pregnancy that can cause short and long-term health problems for women and their children.

For example, it can increase the risk of premature delivery and high blood sugar levels in the mother, and put the baby at risk of hypoglycaemia. Thyroid dysfunctions have also themselves been linked to miscarriages, premature birth and adverse health outcomes.

Dr Cuilin Zhang, of the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said: "These findings, in combination with previous evidence of thyroid-related adverse pregnancy outcomes, support the benefits of thyroid screening among pregnant women in early to mid-pregnancy."ADNFCR-2094-ID-801847139-ADNFCR