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When to Screen Thyroid Levels in Pregnant Patients

Thyroid disorders during pregnancy can lead to problems for the mother — miscarriage, preeclampsia and preterm delivery, among others —...
  • Overview

    Thyroid disorders during pregnancy can lead to problems for the mother — miscarriage, preeclampsia and preterm delivery, among others — as well as problems for the infant, including growth delays and mental retardation. Yet women frequently go undiagnosed, because thyroid dysfunction is often subclinical or is masked by the effects of pregnancy. With more than six million pregnancies in the United States each year, would the health benefits of routine prenatal thyroid screening and treatment justify the expense? Dr. Kenneth D. Burman, director of the endocrine section at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, and a professor of medicine at Georgetown University's School of Medicine, joins host Dr. Jennifer Shu to evaluate key questions in this ongoing debate.

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