Maternal thyroid disease in pregnancy and timing of pubertal development in sons and daughters

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OBJECTIVE: To study whether maternal thyroid disease in pregnancy is associated with pubertal timing in sons and daughters.

DESIGN: Cohort study.

SETTING: National birth cohort and health registers.

PATIENT(S): A total of 15,763 mothers and children from the Danish National Birth Cohort and its Puberty Cohort.

INTERVENTION(S): Register-based and self-reported information on maternal thyroid diseases during pregnancy (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, benign goiter, or no thyroid disease [reference group]).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The adjusted mean age difference (months) at attaining several self-reported pubertal milestones collected every 6 months using an interval-censored regression and the average difference in age at attaining all pubertal milestones using the Huber-White robust variance estimation (primary outcome).

RESULT(S): Sons of mothers with hyperthyroidism had earlier pubertal development (average difference, -2.9 [95% confidence interval (CI), -5.0 to -0.7] months) than unexposed sons. Maternal hypothyroidism was not associated with pubertal development in sons (average difference, -1.2 [95% CI, -5.1 to 2.7] months). We observed nonstatistically significant indications of earlier pubertal development in sons of mothers with benign goiter (average difference, -1.9 [95% CI, -4.6 to 0.9] months). Maternal thyroid disease was not associated with pubertal development in daughters (average difference (months), hyperthyroidism, -0.8 [95% CI, -2.8 to 1.2]; hypothyroidism, 0.3 [95% CI, -3.1 to 3.8]; and benign goiter, 0.7 [95% CI, -2.0 to 3.4]).

CONCLUSION(S): We found indications of earlier pubertal development in sons of mothers with hyperthyroidism. More research is needed to further investigate the observed sex-specific association.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume118
Issue1
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
ISSN0015-0282
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • puberty, fetal programming, hyperthyroidism, goiter

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