Prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy in Saudi Arabia

Shatha A. Al Shanqeeti*, Yasser N. Alkhudairy, Alwaleed A. Alabdulwahed, Anwar E. Ahmed, Maysoon S. Al-Adham, Naveed M. Mahmood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) in Saudi Arabia and assess the need for an SCH screening program. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at King Abdulaziz Medical City and the Khashmulaan Clinic at the National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in August 2016. All women attending the antenatal clinics were invited to participate in the study. In addition, data were retrieved from the files of pregnant women who had been screened for hypothyroidism from January 2016 to August 2016. A total of 384 pregnant women were included in the study. Results: The prevalence of SCH in pregnant women in this study was 50/384 (13%) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 9.82%-16.80%. Pregnant women who were randomly screened using a survey (n=127) were 3 times more likely (OR: 3.1; 95% CI: 1.182 to 8.704, p=0.022) to have SCH compared to pregnant women who were screened based on their physician’s judgement (n=257). Results showed older age (≥40 years) was associated with an insignificant decrease in the risk of SCH. Conclusion: Random screening for SCH in pregnant women showed a higher prevalence in comparison to women who were screened as a result of physician referrals. The results highlight the urgent need for larger studies to investigate the prevalence of SCH as well as the need for an SCH screening program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalSaudi Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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