Maternal Thyroid Antibodies Associates With Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Children at the Age of 16

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Context and Objective:

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of maternal thyroid dysfunction or antibodies during pregnancy on the cardiometabolic risk factors in children.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

This prospective population-based cohort study, Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986, included all pregnancies within a year in the area. Maternal serum samples were collected before the 20th week of gestation and analyzed for thyrotropin, free T4, thyroid-peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Abs), and thyroglobulin antibodies (Tg-Abs). Cardiometabolic risk factors in children at the age of 16 years were evaluated via blood sampling and clinical examination. Data were available for 3229 to 4176 mother-child pairs.

Main Outcome Measures:

Waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids and lipoproteins, and insulin resistance were measured. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of cardiometabolic risk factors in children with and without mothers with thyroid dysfunction or antibodies were calculated with logistic regression and adjusted for covariates.


Children of TPO-Ab-positive mothers had higher odds of metabolic syndrome (OR, 2.57; 95%, CI 1.26 to 5.25) and waist circumference indicative of metabolic syndrome (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.50). They were also more likely to be overweight or obese (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.34). Maternal thyroid dysfunction or Tg-Ab positivity did not associate with cardiometabolic risk factors in children.


Metabolic syndrome, greater waist circumference, and higher body mass index were more prevalent in children of TPO-Ab-positive mothers, indicating an adverse cardiovascular health profile.

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