Context: Pregnant women who are positive for thyroid peroxidase antibodies [TPOAb(+)] are prone to develop postpartum thyroid dysfunction (PPTD) and permanent hypothyroidism. Selenium (Se) decreases thyroid inflammatory activity in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.
Objective: We examined whether Se supplementation, during and after pregnancy, influences the thyroidal autoimmune pattern and function.
Design: This was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study.
Setting: The study was conducted in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Endocrinology.
Patients: A total of 2143 euthyroid pregnant women participated in the study; 7.9% were TPOAb(+).
Interventions: During pregnancy and the postpartum period, 77 TPOAb(+) women received selenomethionine 200 microg/d (group S1), 74 TPOAb(+) women received placebo (group S0), and 81 TPOAb(-) age-matched women were the control group (group C).
Main outcome measures: We measured the prevalence of PPTD and hypothyroidism.
Results: PPTD and permanent hypothyroidism were significantly lower in group S1 compared with S0 (28.6 vs. 48.6%, P<0.01; and 11.7 vs. 20.3%, P<0.01).
Conclusion: Se supplementation during pregnancy and in the postpartum period reduced thyroid inflammatory activity and the incidence of hypothyroidism.