Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 31, Issue 12, pp 1063–1068 | Cite as

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
Original Articles


Background: Postpartum 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: Autoanti-body 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.


Iodine supply postpartum thyroiditis thyroglobulin antibodies thyroid disease thyroid peroxidase antibodies 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Filippi
    • 1
  • R. Brizzolara
    • 2
  • D. Venuti
    • 1
  • A. Cesarone
    • 1
  • V. A. Maritati
    • 3
  • M. Podestà
    • 3
  • W. F. Yung
    • 3
  • L. C. Bottaro
    • 4
  • A. Orselli
    • 4
  • A. Chiappori
    • 2
  • M. Schiavo
    • 2
  • M. Caputo
    • 2
  • S. Bonassi
    • 5
  • M. Bagnasco
    • 2
  1. 1.Internal Medicine UnitASL3 Voltri HospitalItaly
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineMedical and Radiometabolic Therapy UnitGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Gynaecology and Obstetrics UnitItaly
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PathologyASL3 Voltri HospitalItaly
  5. 5.Unit of Molecular EpidemiologyNational Cancer Research InstituteGenoaItaly

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