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Open AccessArticle

Iodine Status, Thyroid Function, and Birthweight: A Complex Relationship in High-Risk Pregnancies

Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Riotinto Hospital, Andalusian Health Service, Av. de la Esquila 5, 21660 Minas de Riotinto Huelva, Spain
Germans, Trias I Pujol Research Institute, Carretera de Canyet, s/n, Medicine Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08916 Badalona, Spain
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital, Andalusian Health Service, Av. de las Fuerzas Armadas 2, 18014 Granada, Spain
Thyroid Research Group, Systems Immunity Research Institute, Cardiff University School of Medicine, UHW, C2 Link Corridor, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK
Department of Gastroenterology, Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital, Biomedical Research Institute of Málaga-IBIMA, Biomedical Research Networking Center for Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN), 29010 Malaga, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(1), 177;
Received: 8 December 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 8 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health in Preconception Pregnancy and Postpartum)
(1) Background: The consequences of iodine deficiency and/or thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy have been extensively studied, emphasizing on infant neurodevelopment. However, the available information about the relationship between iodine, thyroid hormones, and fetal growth in high-risk pregnancies is limited. We aim to investigate if iodine metabolism and/or thyroid parameters can be affected by adverse antenatal/perinatal conditions. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study examined differences in iodine status, thyroid function, and birthweight between high-risk (HR group; n = 108)) and low-risk pregnancies (LR group; n = 233) at the time of birth. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC), iodine levels in amniotic fluid, and thyroid parameters [thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4)] were measured in mother–baby pairs. (3) Results: There were significant differences between HR and LR groups, free thyroxine (FT4) concentration in cord blood was significantly higher in the LR group compared with HR pregnancies (17.06 pmol/L vs. 15.30 pmol/L, respectively; p < 0.001), meanwhile iodine concentration in amniotic fluid was significantly lower (13.11 µg/L vs. 19.65 µg/L, respectively; p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis that an adverse intrauterine environment can compromise the availability of FT4 in cord blood as well as the iodine metabolism in the fetus. These differences are more noticeable in preterm and/or small fetuses. View Full-Text
Keywords: iodine; thyroid function; birthweight; amniotic fluid; high-risk pregnancy iodine; thyroid function; birthweight; amniotic fluid; high-risk pregnancy
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Velasco, I.; Sánchez-Gila, M.; Manzanares, S.; Taylor, P.; García-Fuentes, E. Iodine Status, Thyroid Function, and Birthweight: A Complex Relationship in High-Risk Pregnancies. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 177.

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