Maternal thyroid function in pregnancy may program offspring blood pressure, but not adiposity at 20 y of age

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  • Dorte Rytter
  • Stine L Andersen
  • Bodil H Bech
  • Thorhallur I Halldorsson, University of Iceland, Center for Føtal Programmering, Statens Serum Institut, København, Iceland
  • Tine B Henriksen
  • Peter Laurberg, Aalborg University
  • ,
  • Sjurdur F Olsen, Center for Føtal Programmering, Statens Serum Institut, København

BACKGROUND: Experimental evidence exists indicating that maternal thyroid hormones during pregnancy may affect the metabolic set point and cardio-vascular function in the offspring. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between maternal thyroid function in week 30 of gestation and offspring adiposity and blood pressure at 20 y.

METHODS: The study was based on the follow up of a Danish birth cohort from 1988 to 1989 (n = 965). A blood sample was drawn from the pregnant women in week 30 of gestation (N = 877). In 2008-2009, the offspring were followed up with self-reported anthropometrics (N = 645) and a clinically measured blood pressure (N = 425). Multiple linear regressions were used to estimate the association between maternal thyroid function and offspring BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure.

RESULTS: Offspring of subclinical hypothyroid women had higher systolic blood pressure (adjusted difference = 3.6, 95% confidence interval: 0.2, 7.0 mmHg) and a tendency toward higher diastolic blood pressure (adjusted difference = 2.3, 95% confidence interval: -0.2, 4.9 mmHg) compared to offspring of euthyroid women. No association was found with offspring BMI and waist circumference.

CONCLUSION: Maternal thyroid function during third trimester of pregnancy may affect long-term blood pressure in the offspring.Pediatric Research (2016); doi:10.1038/pr.2016.56.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Pages (from-to)7-13
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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