Association of thyroid function test abnormalities and thyroid autoimmunity with preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Korevaar, T. I. M. et al. (2019) Association of thyroid function test abnormalities and thyroid autoimmunity with preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 322(7), pp. 632-641. (doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.10931) (PMID:31429897) (PMCID:PMC6704759)

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Abstract

Importance: Maternal hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are risk factors for preterm birth. Milder thyroid function test abnormalities and thyroid autoimmunity are more prevalent, but it remains controversial if these are associated with preterm birth. Objective: To study if maternal thyroid function test abnormalities and thyroid autoimmunity are risk factors for preterm birth. Data Sources and Study Selection: Studies were identified through a search of the Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Google Scholar databases from inception to March 18, 2018, and by publishing open invitations in relevant journals. Data sets from published and unpublished prospective cohort studies with data on thyroid function tests (thyrotropin [often referred to as thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH] and free thyroxine [FT4] concentrations) or thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody measurements and gestational age at birth were screened for eligibility by 2 independent reviewers. Studies in which participants received treatment based on abnormal thyroid function tests were excluded. Data Extraction and Synthesis: The primary authors provided individual participant data that were analyzed using mixed-effects models. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was preterm birth (<37 weeks’ gestational age). Results: From 2526 published reports, 35 cohorts were invited to participate. After the addition of 5 unpublished data sets, a total of 19 cohorts were included. The study population included 47 045 pregnant women (mean age, 29 years; median gestational age at blood sampling, 12.9 weeks), of whom 1234 (3.1%) had subclinical hypothyroidism (increased thyrotropin concentration with normal FT4 concentration), 904 (2.2%) had isolated hypothyroxinemia (decreased FT4 concentration with normal thyrotropin concentration), and 3043 (7.5%) were TPO antibody positive; 2357 (5.0%) had a preterm birth. The risk of preterm birth was higher for women with subclinical hypothyroidism than euthyroid women (6.1% vs 5.0%, respectively; absolute risk difference, 1.4% [95% CI, 0%-3.2%]; odds ratio [OR], 1.29 [95% CI, 1.01-1.64]). Among women with isolated hypothyroxinemia, the risk of preterm birth was 7.1% vs 5.0% in euthyroid women (absolute risk difference, 2.3% [95% CI, 0.6%-4.5%]; OR, 1.46 [95% CI, 1.12-1.90]). In continuous analyses, each 1-SD higher maternal thyrotropin concentration was associated with a higher risk of preterm birth (absolute risk difference, 0.2% [95% CI, 0%-0.4%] per 1 SD; OR, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.00-1.09] per 1 SD). Thyroid peroxidase antibody–positive women had a higher risk of preterm birth vs TPO antibody–negative women (6.6% vs 4.9%, respectively; absolute risk difference, 1.6% [95% CI, 0.7%-2.8%]; OR, 1.33 [95% CI, 1.15-1.56]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among pregnant women without overt thyroid disease, subclinical hypothyroidism, isolated hypothyroxinemia, and TPO antibody positivity were significantly associated with higher risk of preterm birth. These results provide insights toward optimizing clinical decision-making strategies that should consider the potential harms and benefits of screening programs and levothyroxine treatment during pregnancy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding/Support: This work was supported by replication studies grant 401.16.020 from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Cohort-specific grants appear in Supplement 2.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nelson, Professor Scott and Delles, Professor Christian and Carty, Dr David
Authors: Korevaar, T. I. M., Derakhshan, A., Taylor, P. N., Meima, M., Chen, L., Bliddal, S., Carty, D. M., Meems, M., Vaidya, B., Shields, B., Ghafoor, F., Popova, P. V., Mosso, L., Oken, E., Suvanto, E., Hisada, A., Yoshinaga, J., Brown, S. J., Bassols, J., Auvinen, J., Bramer, W. M., López-Bermejo, A., Dayan, C., Boucai, L., Vafeiadi, M., Grineva, E. N., Tkachuck, A. S., Pop, V. J. M., Vrijkotte, T. G., Guxens, M., Chatzi, L., Sunyer, J., Jiménez-Zabala, A., Riaño, I., Murcia, M., Lu, X., Mukhtar, S., Delles, C., Feldt-Rasmussen, U., Nelson, S. M., Alexander, E. K., Chaker, L., Männistö, T., Walsh, J. P., Pearce, E. N., Steegers, E. A. P., and Peeters, R. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
Publisher:American Medical Association
ISSN:0098-7484
ISSN (Online):1538-3598
Published Online:20 August 2019

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