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Allergy. 2018 Apr;73(4):932-939. doi: 10.1111/all.13365. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Maternal hypothyroidism in the perinatal period and childhood asthma in the offspring.

Author information

1
The National Center for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
2
Department of Endocrinology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
3
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
4
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
6
CIRRAU-Centre for Integrated Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
7
Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, iPSYCH, Aarhus, Denmark.
8
Section for Environmental, Occupational and Health, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
9
National Research Center for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.
10
Allergy and Lung Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is increasing interest in the possible link between maternal hypothyroidism in the perinatal period and childhood asthma risk. We explored this in this study while accounting for the timing of hypothyroidism diagnosis. Further, we evaluated whether the risk was moderated by thyroid hormone treatment during pregnancy.

METHODS:

We conducted a population-based cohort study using Danish national registers. All live-born singletons in Denmark from 1998 to 2007 were identified. Maternal hypothyroidism and asthma in the children were defined by data from the Patient Register and Prescription Registry. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of asthma among children born to hypothyroid mothers versus children born to mothers with no recorded thyroid dysfunction using Poisson regression models.

RESULTS:

Of 595 669 children, 3524 children were born to mothers with hypothyroidism diagnosed before delivery and 4664 diagnosed after delivery. Overall, 48 990 children received treatment for asthma. The IRRs of asthma was 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03-1.30) and 1.12 (95% CI: 1.02-1.24) for children born to mothers with hypothyroidism diagnosed before and after delivery, compared to children born to mothers with no thyroid dysfunction. The highest risk was observed among children born to mothers with hypothyroidism diagnosed before delivery who did not receive thyroid hormone treatment during pregnancy (IRR=1.37, 95% CI: 1.04-1.80).

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that maternal hypothyroidism, especially when it is untreated, increases childhood asthma risk. Early detection and appropriate treatment of hypothyroidism in pregnant women may be an area for possible prevention of childhood asthma.

KEYWORDS:

asthma; childhood; cohort study; hypothyroidism; perinatal

PMID:
29159833
DOI:
10.1111/all.13365

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