By Serena Gordon
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Low levels of thyroid hormone during pregnancy may contribute to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the child, new research suggests.
The study found that children born to mothers with low thyroid hormone levels during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 28% increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD later.
Thyroid hormones play an important role in the growth and development of the fetal brain, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, the researchers said.
“The thyroid is important in pregnancy and can have long-term impacts,” said study lead author Morgan Peltier. He’s an associate professor in the departments of clinical obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.
“These findings highlight the greater need for prenatal care,” Peltier added.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects more than 9% of U.S. children, according to the researchers. The condition leads to difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and hyperactive behavior.
A number of genes are suspected to be involved in ADHD. Many of those genes are regulated by thyroid hormones, the team noted.
For the study, the researchers looked at records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California hospitals. These included data on nearly 330,000 children born between 2000 and 2016. Information on the children’s health is collected until they reach 17.
Almost 17,000 children in this group were diagnosed with ADHD. The children were all evaluated for ADHD using the same criteria.
Almost 10,000 expectant moms were diagnosed with low thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy.
In addition to finding an overall increased rate of ADHD in children born to mothers who had low thyroid levels, they found a significant racial difference. Hispanic children whose mothers had low thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy had a 45% increased risk of ADHD. White children had a 22% increased risk.
Peltier said it’s not clear from the data in this study why the effect of low thyroid hormones was stronger for Hispanic children.
The researchers also noted the effect of low thyroid hormones was more significant in boys than in girls. The study only found an association between thyroid levels and ADHD, rather than a cause-and-effect link.
Dr. Michael Cackovic is a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, and was not part of the study. He said it highlights how important it is to “optimize women’s health before pregnancy if you have the opportunity.”
Cackovic said thyroid hormone screening isn’t currently done in all women during pregnancy.
Symptoms of low thyroid include tiring easily, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, being forgetful and feeling depressed, according to the American Thyroid Association.
If you have symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroid), Cackovic said you should bring them up with your doctor. However, many of the symptoms of low thyroid — such as fatigue or constipation — are similar problems that occur in pregnancy.
Cackovic said more research would be needed to see if
“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in announcing his state’s vaccine review panel. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who announced his state’s 11 member panel of doctors and scientists on Monday said: “Of course we won’t take anyone’s word for it.”
President Donald Trump’s intense push for a vaccine before the election – which is now virtually impossible given that none of the leading vaccine candidates will be ready by then — on top of administration pressure on the FDA and Centers for Disease Control, have sowed growing public doubt about vaccine safety, particularly as the research into the shots has progressed at an unprecedented breakneck pace.
A CNN poll from earlier this month showed only about half of Americans might get a vaccine, while a more recent Stat News poll revealed 58 percent of the U.S. public said they would get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine was available – a big decline over its prior poll. If large numbers of people spurn the shot, its power to beat back the pandemic is diminished.
States have not yet released a lot of details about their vaccine reviews. The additional layer of oversight raises questions about whether a state agency could impede use of a federally-approved vaccine, and whether they could end up slowing down the pandemic response, rather than enhancing it.
Even though governors say they are protecting their residents in case pressure from the White House leads the FDA to approve a flawed vaccine, some officials and public health advocates are warning that these state interventions could confuse the public and prevent people from seeking a shot even if it is safe and effective.
It is “hard to see how any state could replicate anything like the national, gold standard system” of FDA approval, said former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan, who now heads a major health policy center at Duke.
Critics of the state review panels include both Republicans in Congress as well as nonpartisan public health experts in both the advocacy and academic worlds.
Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the outgoing top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FDA, called the state vaccine panels a “reckless” idea that would “dangerously undermine the FDA” and increase public vaccine hesitancy.
Walden told a recent committee hearing that the FDA had ample safeguards, including an independent data safety monitoring board for each vaccine trial, as well as the outside experts that serve on the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has said the advisory panel, which meets for the first time to discuss Covid-19 vaccines this Thursday, will review every vaccine prior to an emergency authorization or approval.
States “would be hard-pressed to find more qualified experts” than those already on the FDA and CDC advisory panels, said Amy Pisani, executive director of the nonprofit Vaccinate Your Family. Their “recommendations will speak for themselves,” she said.
Traditionally the states have
CDC Director Robert Redfield testified at a Senate panel on coronavirus and gave his opinion on face masks, but then President Trump contradicted him.
WASHINGTON – An independent government watchdog agency has agreed to investigate alleged political influence from the Trump administration over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
The Government Accountability Office, an independent legislative agency that investigates, audits and evaluates government operations for Congress, accepted a Senate request on Monday to examine potential political interference and “determine whether this interference has violated the agencies’ scientific integrity and communication policies.”
“We expect the work will start in January, as staff who cover those issues become available,” Charles Young, a spokesman for GAO, told USA TODAY.
More: Trump slammed China for COVID-19 ‘secrecy’; critics slam White House for lack of transparency
Both agencies have been caught in political crossfire since the start of the pandemic, as preventative health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and the effectiveness of different drugs in combating the COVID-19 outbreak have become politicized.
President Donald Trump and others in the administration have publicly contradicted health experts at both agencies on such issues, hurting the agencies’ credibility.
Fact check: CDC’s data on COVID-19 deaths used incorrectly in misleading claims
The GOA move comes after Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Gary Peters and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter asking the agency to “determine whether the CDC and FDA’s scientific integrity and communications policies have been violated” amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The senators requested the investigation earlier this month following reports of political meddling in the coronavirus response at both the FDC and CDC, including a report by the New York Times found that the White House blocked new coronavirus vaccine guidelines for non-scientific reasons.
Trump repeatedly has stated a vaccine is coming “momentarily” and would be ready for distribution in time for Election Day, despite health officials saying publicly that is unlikely.
More: A COVID-19 vaccine by Election Day? Here are the 3 things that would need to happen, and soon.
In June, the FDA revoked its emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine, a controversial malaria drug, after Trump had called for and promoted it despite little evidence of success. The agency said the drug posed a greater risk to patients than any potential benefits.
Additionally, White House appointees have reportedly interfered with basic national public health reports and information coming out of the agencies when it conflicted with Trump’s coronavirus messaging.
“The CDC and FDA’s independence as scientific agencies is crucial to safeguarding the public health and saving lives. These agencies must be able to develop, review, and disseminate public health data, guidelines, and other information that are based on science, facts, and medical principles—and not the political imperatives and moods of a president and his advisors,” the Democrats said in their request.
In early October, a House Oversight subcommittee also opened its own investigation into potential political interference around coronavirus messaging.
The subcommittee took particular aim at the