Childhood IQ, hearing loss, and maternal thyroid autoimmunity in the Baltimore Collaborative Perinatal Project

Ellen E. Wasserman, Joseph P Pillion, Anne Duggan, Kenrad Edwin Nelson, Charles Rohde, Eric C. Seaberg, Monica V. Talor, Robert H. Yolken, Noel Richard Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background:Maternal thyroid autoantibodies during pregnancy have been implicated in neurodevelopmental delays, including early childhood cognitive deficits. We evaluated whether maternal autoantibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPOaAbs) during late pregnancy were associated with childhood intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in their offspring and how the children's TPOaAb-associated sensorineural hearing loss (HL) might affect the result.Methods:We evaluated banked third-trimester sera corresponding to 1,733 children for whom childhood cognitive test scores and audiology data were available. The mothers and their children participated in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP) that ran from 1959 to 1974.Results:A modest, statistically significant, effect of TPOaAbs on cognitive performance observed at 4 y of age lessened in both magnitude and P value by the age of 7 y. Children with sensorineural HL (SNHL) had lower IQ scores at both ages.Conclusion:Our data suggest that the reported effect of maternal TPOaAbs on IQ may involve early developmental delays or transient effects rather than permanent deficits. Reports associating TPOaAbs directly with IQ may reflect a portion with unexamined TPOaAb-associated SNHL. Whether the TPOaAb-associated SNHL is in the neurodevelopmental pathway of later cognitive delays or is independently associated with IQ requires investigation in other studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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