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Pregnant women warned of thyroid hormone deficiency

ABOUT 10 to 15 percent of pregnant Chinese suffer thyroid hormone deficiency which can impede fetal brain development and cause higher incidence of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. Women who plan to start a family or are in the early stage of pregnancy, especially highly-risk people, should better undergo a thyroid check for early intervention and treatment, experts told a medical conference today. The country's first survey on thyroid diseases, done by the Chinese Medical Association and Merck Serono in Shanghai and other nine cities, showed that 6.5 percent of Chinese have thyroid hormone deficiency, but no more than 5 percent of them get any treatment due to a lack of knowledge. "Compared with ordinary people, thyroid diseases are more harmful to pregnant women," said Dr Wu Yijie of Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital. "It not only affects their health but also their baby's health and IQ, raising the likelihood of brain, kidney and heart disorder during the prenatal period." Experts said medication before and during pregnancy can effectively prevent and control the harm caused by poor secretion of thyroid hormone.

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