Newswise — October 16, 2013 -- Decreased thyroid function can have a detrimental effect on pregnancy outcomes. A majority of thyroid specialists surveyed recommend thyroid function testing for all pregnant women. The results of a survey conducted at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) will be delivered in a poster to be presented at the upcoming 83rd Annual Meeting of the ATA, October 16-20, 2013, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

P. Srimatkandada, E.N. Pearce, and A. Stagnaro-Green from Boston Medical Center, MA, and George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, analyzed the results of a survey that asked participating physicians whether or not to test pregnant women for thyroid dysfunction. More than 90% of the respondents were endocrinologists.

Universal thyroid screening in pregnancy was recommended by 74% of the survey respondents. All were in factor of thyroid testing in pregnant women with symptoms of hypothyroidism or a family history of Graves' disease, and 99% recommended testing for women with goiter.

"Decreased thyroid function can result in adverse pregnancy outcomes; however, the recommendations for thyroid function testing in pregnancy are controversial, especially for healthy women with no risk factors for thyroid disease, largely due to inadequate data to guide decision making," says Ronald J. Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., Program Committee Co-Chair, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor. "This makes the study by Srimatkandada and colleagues particularly important, because it indicates what expert thyroidologists actually do in their practice."

About the ATAThe American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology (CT), VideoEndocrinology and CT for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs through; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit for more information.