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Hypothyroidism in mothers tied to heightened risk of developing autism in children

13 May 2018

Maternal hypothyroidism contributes to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children in a manner dependent on race–ethnicity, according to a retrospective US cohort study.

The study included 397,201 children who were delivered from 1991 to 2011 and remained Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan members from 1993 to 2014. During the study period, the prevalence of chronic hypothyroidism in mothers was 2.2 percent. There were 6,475 children who developed ASD. Mothers of children with ASD were older, better educated, at lower parity and received prenatal care earlier, and their children were born earlier and more often males of white race.

ASD rates were higher in children born to hypothyroid mothers than in children born to those without the diagnosis (2.14 vs 1.62/1,000 person-years). In Cox proportional hazards models, maternal hypothyroidism, whether diagnosed before or during pregnancy, increased the risk of ASD in offspring by about 30 percent (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.31; 95 percent CI, 1.13–1.53).

The association between maternal hypothyroidism and ASD was seen among both boys (3.93 vs 2.62/1,000 person-years; adjusted HR, 1.27; 1.07–1.50) and girls (1.10 vs 0.61/1,000 person-years; adjusted HR, 1.51; 1.10–2.08). Among women diagnosed with hypothyroidism during pregnancy, normal thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine levels were not associated with an increased risk of ASD in children.

Prenatal hypothyroidism was associated with an increased risk of ASD in children of Hispanics (adjusted HR, 1.09; 1.01–1.17) and women of other/mixed race–ethnicity (adjusted HR, 1.08; 1.00–1.16) than in children of white women.

According to researchers, management of maternal hypothyroidism may help ameliorate the risk of ASD.

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Most Read Articles
Stephen Padilla, 2 days ago
Treatment with oral thrombopoietin receptor agonist eltrombopag leads to similar platelet counts in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopaenia (cITP) and persistent (per)ITP, according to the results of phase III (EXTEND) and IV studies presented at the 23rd Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA 2018) held in Stockholm, Sweden.
Pearl Toh, 4 days ago
Lonely people were twice as likely to die from any cause than people who did not feel lonely, according to a study based on a national survey presented at the recent EuroHeartCare 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Also, loneliness is associated with poorer patient-reported outcomes in terms of mental and physical health in patients with heart disease.
15 Jun 2018
Higher activity of plasma xanthine oxidase appears to be linked to insulin resistance and liver dysfunction among type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS), according to a recent Japan study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 2 days ago
A treatment regimen combining daratumumab plus bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone markedly extends progression-free survival in patients with multiple myeloma, inducing deep responses and demonstrating acceptable tolerability regardless of baseline renal function, according to the results of the phase III ALCYONE study.