Study Title:

Iron Deficiency, a Risk Factor of Thyroid Disorders in Reproductive-Age and Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Study Abstract

Background: Iron deficiency (ID) is concerned as the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. The effects of ID on thyroid function and autoimmunity in pregnant women and reproductive-age women are controversial. The aim of the current study was to summarize the evidences and evaluate the relationship between ID and thyroid disorders.

Methods: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, studies published on the Cochrane, Embase, Medline, and PubMed databases by October 2020 were searched. A total of 636 studies which discussed the correlation between ID and thyroid disorders were eligible in the initial search. Pooled mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for the assessment of thyrotropin (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels. Combined odd ratios (OR) and 95% CI were calculated for the assessment of the prevalence of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism, positive thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb).

Results: For women of reproductive age, ID could significantly increase the risk of positive TPOAb (OR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.06: P = 0.01) and both positive TPOAb and TgAb (OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.03, 2.11: P = 0.03). The meta-analysis of pregnant women showed that pregnant women with ID had increased serum TSH levels (MD: 0.12; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.17; P < 0.00001) and decreased FT4 levels (MD: -0.73; 95% CI: -1.04, -0.41; P < 0.00001). Meanwhile, the prevalence of overt (OR: 1.60; 95% CI: 1.17, 2.19; P = 0.004) and subclinical (OR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.66; P = 0.001) hypothyroidism in pregnant women with ID was significantly increased.

Conclusions: ID may adversely affect thyroid function and autoimmunity of pregnant and reproductive-age women and it is very necessary for monitoring iron nutritional status and early treatment of ID for them.

Study Information

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Feb 25;12:629831. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.629831. PMID: 33716980; PMCID: PMC7947868.

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