Maternal thyroid disease and adiposity in mother and child

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OBJECTIVE: Thyroid hormones are crucial developmental factors, and thyroid disease in pregnant women is a concern. Overweight and obesity are also important health concerns, and we hypothesized that in utero exposure to maternal thyroid disease could programme the foetus to development of adiposity.

DESIGN: Cohort and case-cohort studies.

PARTICIPANTS: Pregnant women from the Danish National Birth Cohort and their 7-year-old children.

MEASUREMENTS: Maternal thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) was assessed from registrations of diagnoses and treatment (n = 71 706) or from the measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in a stored blood sample from the early pregnancy (n = 7624). Maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and child BMI at 7 years of age were used to define overweight and obesity, and associations were evaluated using regression models adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS: No association was found between maternal thyroid disease in pregnancy and child overweight (hyperthyroidism: adjusted risk ratio (aRR): 1.02 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.58-1.82); hypothyroidism: 1.31 (0.86-1.97)) or obesity (hyperthyroidism: 0.96 (0.53-1.75); hypothyroidism: 1.25 (0.76-2.05)). On the other hand, pregnant women with hypothyroidism in early pregnancy had a higher risk of being overweight (aRR: 1.20 (95% CI: 1.03; 1.41)) and obese (1.45 (1.07; 1.96)), whereas women with hyperthyroidism had a lower risk of being overweight (0.79 (0.64; 0.98)).

CONCLUSIONS: Results provide no evidence that maternal thyroid disease in pregnancy programmes adiposity in the child, but corroborate an association between maternal thyroid disease and adiposity in the mother.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Volume94
Issue3
Pages (from-to)484-493
Number of pages10
ISSN0300-0664
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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