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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-8

Goitre in pregnancy: A controlled study in Enugu, Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine/Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Nigeria University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Mount Carmel Specialist Hospital, 119 Chime Avenue, New Haven, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Anthony U Mbah
Department of Pharmacology/Therapeutics College of Medicine, U.N.E.C., Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Although an association between goitre and pregnancy has been reported in some studies, this observation could not be confirmed by others. It is thought that differences in the level of iodine intake of different populations is responsible for the conflicts in reported findings. The current study was aimed at determining the extent of the problem of goitre in pregnancy in Enugu metropolis as an indirect assessment of the status of iodine intake among the population. In this controlled study, 213 consecutively selected, apparently healthy pregnant women attending a busy non-referral maternity hospital in Enugu and 276 apparently healthy, non-pregnant female subjects of similar age, parity and social class were studied. The prevalence rate of clinical goitre was significantly higher among the pregnant subjects compared with the controls (52.6% vs 10.9%) respectively; x2 = 101.42; P< 0.0001). Although a majority of the women in both groups had palpable goiters (grade 1A and grade IB), 18.2% and 2.5% respectively of the pregnant subjects and the controls had goiters that were clearly visible (grade 2 and grade 3). The difference in the visible goitre rates between the two comparison groups was statistically very highly significant (P< 0.001). The goitre frequency increased progressively from the 37.3% in the first quarter of pregnancy through to 69.8% in the last quarter. Independently, high parity and advanced gestational age were associated with high goitre frequency among the pregnant women (P< 0.01 for each). It is concluded that pregnancy has a goitrogenic effect in Enugu. Although this may be indicative of sub-optimal iodine intake among the residents of the town, this needs further confirmation.

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