Background: Iodine requirements are increased during pregnancy to maintain maternal and fetal euthyroidism. There have been recent improvements in iodized salt coverage in India, but whether iodized salt is sufficient to sustain iodine requirements during pregnancy remains uncertain. Our aims were to measure thyroid status in first trimester pregnant women in southern India and assess potential determinants of thyroid function, including iodine status, thyroid autoimmunity, dietary patterns, body weight, and anemia. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study among 334 pregnant women of =14 weeks' gestation, in Bangalore, India. We measured anthropometrics, urinary iodine concentration (UIC), maternal thyroid volume (by ultrasound), and thyroid function. We applied a thyrotropin (TSH) upper limit of 2.5¿mIU/L to classify thyroid insufficiency. Using a questionnaire, we obtained sociodemographic and dietary data, obstetric history, and use of iodized salt and iodine supplements. Results: Among the women, the mean (standard deviation) gestational age was 10.3 (2.5) weeks, 67% were nulliparous, 21% were vegetarian, 19% were anemic, and 23% were overweight or obese. Iodized salt was used by 98% of women, and they were iodine sufficient: median UIC (range) was 184.2¿µg/L (8.1–1152¿µg/L) and all had a normal thyroid volume. However, 18% of the women had thyroid insufficiency: 3.7% had overt hypothyroidism (83% with positive TPO-Ab), 9.2% had subclinical hypothyroidism, and 5.2% had hypothyroxinemia. Women consuming vegetarian diets did not have significantly lower iodine intakes or higher risk of hypothyroidism than those consuming mixed diets, but overweight/obesity and anemia predicted thyroid insufficiency. Conclusion: In this urban population of southern India, pregnant women have adequate iodine status in the first trimester. Despite this, many have thyroid insufficiency, and the prevalence of overt hypothyroidism is more than fivefold higher than reported in other iodine sufficient populations of pregnant women.
- subclinical hypothyroidism
- urinary iodine