Dr. Hamisu Salihu and colleagues report on maternal thyroperoxidase status and fetal body/brain size

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Public health researcher Hamisu Salihu, MD, PhD, is co-author on a publication entitled “Impact of Maternal Thyroperoxidase Status on Fetal Body and Brain Size.”  The study is in the January issue of the Journal of Thyroid Research.

 Hamisu Salihu 2

Dr. Salihu, a professor of epidemiology, directs the USF College of Public Health’s Occupational Medicine Residency Program and the Center for Research and Evaluation for the Lawton & Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies. His academic home is the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  The department offers concentrations in epidemiology that lead to MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and special programs. Most recently, the department added an online master of public health degree in epidemiology to its academic offerings.

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Roneé E. Wilson, Hamisu M. Salihu, Maureen W. Groer, Getachew Dagne, Kathleen O’Rourke, and Alfred K. Mbah.  Impact of Maternal Thyroperoxidase Status on Fetal Body and Brain Size. Journal of Thyroid Research Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 872410, 8 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/872410


The obstetric consequences of abnormal thyroid function during pregnancy have been established. Less understood is the influence of maternal thyroid autoantibodies on infant outcomes. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of maternal thyroperoxidase (TPO) status on fetal/infant brain and body growth. Six-hundred thirty-one (631) euthyroid pregnant women were recruited from prenatal clinics in Tampa Bay, Florida, and the surrounding area between November 2007 and December 2010. TPO status was determined during pregnancy and fetal/infant brain and body growth variables were assessed at delivery. Regression analysis revealed maternal that TPO positivity was significantly associated with smaller head circumference, reduced brain weight, and lower brain-to-body ratio among infants born to TPO+ white, non-Hispanic mothers only, distinguishing race/ethnicity as an effect modifier in the relationship. No significant differences were noted in body growth measurements among infants born to TPO positive mothers of any racial/ethnic group. Currently, TPO antibody status is not assessed as part of the standard prenatal care laboratory work-up, but findings from this study suggest that fetal brain growth may be impaired by TPO positivity among certain populations; therefore autoantibody screening among high-risk subgroups may be useful for clinicians to determine whether prenatal thyroid treatment is warranted.


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