Gestational Thyroid Issues and Mental Health in Offspring

Thyroid problems are common during pregnancy and have been linked to neurocognitive impairments in children. Research has also suggested a link between thyroid function during pregnancy and symptoms of mental health problems in children. However, little is known about the risk of clinically significant psychiatric disorders in adolescence. ARCH Lab contributed to a study examining this literature gap entitled “Psychiatric Disorders in the Adolescent Offspring of Mothers with Thyroid Problems During Pregnancy”.

Data was drawn from the Ontario Child Health Study in which youth completed the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents and their mothers self-reported thyroid problems during pregnancy. Results showed an association between gestational thyroid problems and offspring oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). While sex and gestational age did not moderate these associations, school performance mediated 8% of the association between thyroid problems and SAD, 21% for CD and 53% for ODD.