Additional Hormone Measurement Reveals Pregnant Women at High Risk of Preeclampsia

A new study presents evidence that a blood test can accurately predict which pregnant women are at risk for preeclampsia. This finding may allow doctors to help their patients avoid the dangers of unnecessary treatment. Before this new blood test was developed, predicting which women might develop preeclampsia could be difficult. One of the risk factors is hyperthyroidism. But HcG, a hormone that elevates naturally during pregnancy, also leads to increased thyroid function. However, pregnancy-induced hyperthyroidism does not increase the risk of developing preeclampsia. As thyroid treatment options can harm the fetus, it is very important to correctly identify which women need those thyroid treatment options and which do not. Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that occurs in 2%-8% of pregnancies, which can lead to serious health risks for pregnant women and their unborn children. The complications can be quite severe, including kidney failure, hemorrhage, seizures, or preterm birth.

Key Points:

  • 1Women with high thyroid levels are at risk of developing preeclampsia
  • 2Pregnant women are likely to have high thyroid levels
  • 3Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by Graves’ Disease or toxic thyroid nodules

In this study, researchers measured the hormones of 5153 women during early pregnancy (before the 18th week) and found that women with high levels of thyroid hormone but low levels of hCG were between three and eleven times more likely to develop preeclampsia.

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