Question: It is common to ignore the thyroid gland of women

It is common to ignore the thyroid gland of women during pregnancy ( New York Times, April 13, 2009). This gland makes hormones that govern metabolism, helping to regulate body weight, heart rate, and a host of other factors. If the thyroid malfunctions, it can produce too little or too much of these hormones. Hypothyroidism, caused by an untreated underactive thyroid in pregnant women, carries the risk of impaired intelligence in the child. According to one research study, 62 out of 25,216 pregnant women were identified with hypothyroidism. Nineteen percent of the children born to women with an untreated underactive thyroid had an I.Q. of 85 or lower, compared with only 5% of those whose mothers had a healthy thyroid. It was also reported that if mothers have their hypothyroidism treated, their children’s intelligence would not be impaired.
In a report, use the sample information to:
1. Find the likelihood that a woman suffers from hypothyroidism during pregnancy and later has a child with an I.Q. of 85 or lower.
2. Determine the number of children in a sample of 100,000 that are likely to have an I.Q. of 85 or lower if the thyroid gland of pregnant women is ignored.
3. Compare and comment on your answer to part b with the corresponding number if all pregnant women are tested and treated for hypothyroidism.

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