Previous Live Births and Induced Abortions May Precede Later Development of Graves' Hyperthyroidism

Allan Carlé, Nils Knudsen, Torben Jørgensen, Bettina Thuesen, Jesper Karmisholt, Stine Linding Andersen, Inge Bülow Pedersen

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the association between reproductive history and later development of various nosological subtypes of overt hyperthyroidism. Study Design: From the Danish population, we included incident hyperthyroid women, and for each case we recruited 4 euthyroid age-sex-region-matched controls from the same sub-population. Hyperthyroid cases/controls were: Graves' disease (GD, n = 232/928), multinodular toxic goitre (MNTG, n = 91/364), solitary toxic adenoma (STA, n = 21/84). Patients diagnosed with hyperthyroidism within 1 year after delivery including post-partum GD were excluded. In multivariate conditional regression models (reference: no reproductive events), we analysed the association between development of GD/MNTG/STA and reproductive factors such as age at menarche/menopause, reproductive span, number of pregnancies/childbirths/abortions, investigations for infertility, and years on oral contraceptives. We adjusted for possible confounders such as alcohol intake, smoking, co-morbidity, and education. Age was studied as a potential effect measure modifier. Results: GD patients diagnosed before the age of 40 years had given births more often than control subjects (OR [95% CI] for 1/2/3+ births [ref.: nulliparous] were 1.57 [0.80-3.11]/2.06 [1.001-4.22]/3.07 [1.50-6.26]), and they had induced abortions performed more often (OR for 1/2+ induced abortions [ref.: no: events] were 0.99 [0.54-1.84]/2.24 [1.12-4.45]). No associations were observed between any reproductive factor and the development of MNTG or STA. Conclusions: Childbirths and induced abortions may be followed by development of Graves' hyperthyroidism after the post-partum period. This was not the case for the non-autoimmune subtypes of hyperthyroidism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Thyroid Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Abortion
  • Case-control study
  • Contraceptives
  • Epidemiology
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Live births
  • Oestrogens
  • Parity
  • Population-based study
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk factor
  • Thyrotoxicosis


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