The prevalence of post-partum thyroiditis (PPT) has been reported in several countries (1.9 to 16.7%) but is not known in Brazil. Several factors have been associated to its development, such as a female sex of the newborn, PPT in a previous pregnancy, a family history of thyroid disease and cigarette smoking. To investigate the prevalence of PPT and its risk factors in a southern Brazilian city, a three-cross-sectional observation study was performed. PPT was diagnosed in 14/284 subjects (5.3%) and all cases had thyrotoxicosis (13 sub-clinical and one clinical). Serum total T4 and free T4 were higher and serum TSH was lower in PPT subjects. Anti-thyroid antibodies were positive in 16.7% of PPT subjects and in 4.5% of those with no thyroid dysfunction. Goiter was identified in 14.3% of PPT subjects and in 15% of no PPT subjects. Thyroid was hardened more frequently in PPT subjects (21.4%) than in others (5.2%). Male sex of the newborn was associated to PPT, increasing 11 times the risk of PPT. Cigarette smoking was associated to PPT in group II subjects. There was no clinical sign or symptom able to contribute to this diagnosis, except the presence of hardened thyroid. Based on these findings, PPT, manifesting itself as mild thyrotoxicosis, is a common problem in southern Brazil and is associated to male sex of the newborn. (C) 2000, Editrice Kurtis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by scholarships from FAPERGS (MOP), CNPq-PIBIC (BCF and GZP) and Propesp/UFRGS (AGV). Our special thanks to Dr. Marco Aurélio da Costa, chief of the Child Care Clinic, HCPA, for his support.
- Post-partum thyroiditis
- Risk factors
- Sex of the newborn