Maternal hypothyroxinaemia in early pregnancy and problem behavior in 5-year-old offspring

Be careful not to read too much into this paper. It does only say "may be associated" - not that anything has been proved.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 Mar 25;81:29-35. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.03.021. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal hypothyroxinaemia in early pregnancy and problem behavior in 5-year-old offspring.

Oostenbroek MHW1, Kersten RHJ2, Tros B3, Kunst AE4, Vrijkotte TGM5, Finken MJJ6.

Author information

1 Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: maurits@oostenbroek.nl.

2 Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.h.kersten@amc.uva.nl.

3 Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: b.g.tros@amc.uva.nl.

4 Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.kunst@amc.uva.nl.

5 Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: t.vrijkotte@amc.uva.nl.

6 Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.finken@vumc.nl.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There is evidence, though not consistent, that offspring born to mothers with subtle decreases in thyroid function early in their pregnancies may be at risk of cognitive impairments and attention problems. However, other types of problem behavior have not been addressed thus far. We tested whether maternal thyroid function in early pregnancy is associated with several types of problem behavior in offspring at age 5-6 years.

METHODS:

This was a longitudinal study that included the data of 2000 mother-child pairs from the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study. At a median gestational age of 12.9 (interquartile range: 11.9-14.1) weeks, maternal blood was sampled for assessment of free T4 and TSH. Overall problem behavior, hyperactivity/inattention, conduct problems, emotional problems, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior were measured at age 5-6 years using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which was filled out by both parents and teachers.

RESULTS:

Maternal hypothyroxinaemia <5th percentile was associated with a 1.70 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-2.86) increased odds of teacher-reported hyperactivity/inattention after adjustment for confounders. By increasing the cut-off level to <10th percentile, the odds ratio became 1.47 (95% CI: 0.99-2.20). There were no associations between maternal thyroid function parameters and hyperactivity/inattention as reported by parents, nor with teacher or parent reports of other types of problem behavior.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results partially confirm previous observations, showing that early disruptions in the maternal thyroid hormone supply may be associated with ADHD symptoms in offspring. Our study adds that there is no evidence for an effect on other types of problem behavior.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Follow-up studies; Maternal hypothyroxinemia; Pregnancy; Problem behavior; Thyroid function

PMID: 28411411

DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.03.021

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/284...

3 Replies

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  • I think the caution is due to going against the prevailing bias .... I think ALL Mums to be should be CORRECTLY tested for B12/VitD and thyroid - as when low in range can have negative effects on the unborn ....

    Thanks Rod 😎

  • Couldn't agree more.

    Can't help feeling the only reason more testing isn't done is cost. Whilst not a justification, in my view, it is quite clear that the medical establishment does look at testing as a drain on resources. If testing were really inexpensive, we might see less objection to it.

  • But pregnant woman are offered a lot of tests that don't seem very meaningful at the moment. I've had a few friends tangle with, I think a Downs syndrome test that turned out to have a huge false positive. And if you get a positive result the advice is to abort :(

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