Antenatal thyroid hormone therapy and antithyroid drug use in Norway from 2004 to 2018

Kjersti S. Bakken*, Kristina Randjelovic Nermo, Bjørn Gunnar Nedrebø, Tim I.M. Korevaar, Tor A. Strand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Thyroid disease during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and suboptimal fetal development. During the last decades, guidelines for diagnosing thyroid disease during pregnancy have changed considerably and there has been increased awareness. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of thyroid disease treatment over time among pregnant women in Norway. Design: Nationwide register-based study. Methods: We combined historical data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Prescription Database, identifying pregnant women using thyroid therapy from 2004 to 2018. Results: A total of 855,067 pregnancies were included in the analyses. The proportion of women using thyroid hormone replacement therapy during pregnancy increased from 1.46% (n = 800) in 2004 to 3.57% (n = 1940) in 2018. The proportion of women using antithyroid medications also increased from 0.04% (n = 20) in 2004 to 0.10% (n = 56). During these 15 years, the mean maternal age increased by 0.9 years. When adjusting for age, the risk for being on thyroid hormone replacement therapy during pregnancy increased by an average of 5% per year (odds ratio: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.05–1.05). Conclusion: During the recent 15 years, there has been a substantial increase in the use of thyroid hormone therapy in Norwegian pregnant women. We speculate that this could be due to an increased awareness in combination with overdiagnosis because of inappropriate diagnostic criteria. To truly understand the possible causes and consequences of this development, further research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere210631
JournalEndocrine Connections
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Innlandet Hospital Trust Research Fund (grant number 150424).

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The authors Published by Bioscientifica Ltd.


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