Prevalence of post-partum thyroiditis in Liguria (Italy): An observational study

U. Filippi, R. Brizzolara, D. Venuti, A. Cesarone, V. A. Maritati, M. Podestà, W. F. Yung, L. C. Bottaro, A. Orselli, A. Chiappori, M. Schiavo, M. Caputo, S. Bonassi, M. Bagnasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Post-partum thyroiditis (PPT) is an autoimmune disorder occurring within the first year following delivery. A variable prevalence has been reported in different surveys. We prospectively evaluated PPT prevalence and outcome in a cohort of pregnant women living in a well-defined geographic area. Aim: A subset from a group of healthy women consecutively evaluated for thyroid function and thyroid autoimmunity during pregnancy, referring to the same obstetric unit, were followed up at 4-6 months and 1 yr after delivery. Materials/subjects and methods: Follow-up for PPT was performed in 258 pregnant women. Control data were obtained in a comparable group of healthy non-pregnant women. Free T3 (fT3), free T4 (fT4), TSH thyroglobulin/thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TgAb/TPOAb), and urinary iodine excretion were measured. Results: Autoantibody positivity was observed in 9.3% of pregnant, similar to control women. Forty-three out of 59 autoantibody-positive women were followed up; 23 showed PPT at the first control, 18 had hypothyroidism at 1 yr (5 had not shown PPT at the first control). Among 215 out of 584 autoantibody-negative women followed up, 27 developed PPT (15 of them without thyroid autoantibodies); 16 developed thyroid autoantibodies without PPT. After 1 yr, 9 women had hypothyroidism: only 1 of them was autoantibody-negative at the former control. Urinary iodine was increased in several pregnant women. Conclusions: An overall PPT prevalence of about 18% may be estimated. PPT was also observed in autoantibody-negative women. Differences with other surveys may be related to both study protocol and characteristics of the population studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1068
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Iodine supply
  • Post partum thyroiditis
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies
  • Thyroid disease
  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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