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GW Researcher Editorial on Thyroid Autoantibodies, Preterm Birth, and Miscarriage Featured in May Issue of the British Medical Journal

WASHINGTON (May 10, 2011) - GW Researcher Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, and colleagues, have contributed an editorial featured in the May 14 issue of the British Medical Journal reviewing a study that evaluated the relationship between thyroid autoantibodies and both miscarriage and preterm birth. Eleven percent of all women suffer a miscarriage and 12 percent of women in the United States have a preterm delivery, which is the number one cause of newborn death. Since Dr. Stagnaro-Green first described the link between miscarriage and the presence of thyroid antibodies in 1990, an ever increasing number of researchers have evaluated the link between thyroid antibodies, miscarriage, recurrent pregnancy loss, and preterm delivery. 

“The article in the British Medical Journal clearly demonstrated a strong relationship between miscarriage and preterm delivery in women who are thyroid antibody positive. As such, it marks a turning point in research in this area. Future studies needs to focus on why the miscarriages and preterm delivery occur, and how to prevent it.  Already a European study has demonstrated that treating thyroid antibody positive women with thyroid hormone dramatically decreases the rate of miscarriage and preterm delivery. Another large scale study has begun in the United Kingdom looking to replicate and expand those findings. We are excited about the very real possibility that ongoing research in this area will lead to a decrease in miscarriage and preterm delivery,” said Dr. Stagnaro-Green, Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science.

To read the editorial, please visit: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2260.full.pdf