Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 719–730 | Cite as

Prenatal and Neonatal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Levels and Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Vincent M. Yau
  • Marta Lutsky
  • Cathleen K. Yoshida
  • Bill Lasley
  • Martin Kharrazi
  • Gayle Windham
  • Nancy Gee
  • Lisa A. Croen
Original Paper


Thyroid hormones are critical for normal brain development. This study examined autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels measured in mid-pregnancy maternal serum and infant blood after birth. Three groups of children born in Orange County, CA in 2000–2001were identified: ASD (n = 78), developmental delay (n = 45), and general population controls (GP) (n = 149). Samples were retrieved from prenatal and newborn screening specimen archives. Adjusted logistic regression models showed inverse associations between ASD and log transformed TSH levels in maternal serum samples (ASD vs. GP: OR [95 % CI] 0.33 [0.12–0.91], Early Onset ASD vs. GP: 0.31 [0.10–0.98]). Results for thyroid levels in newborn blood samples were similar though not significant (ASD vs. GP: 0.61 [0.18–2.04]).


Thyroid Thyroid stimulating hormone Autism Pregnancy Developmental delay 



Funding was provided by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH72565, L. Croen, PI), the National Alliance for Autism Research (824/LC/01-201-004-00-00, L. Croen, PI), and the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (8RT-0115, M. Kharrazi, PI). We thank Jack Collins, Roxana Odouli and Tiffany Wong for project coordination; Julie Ruedaflores for record review and abstraction; Meredith Anderson and Daniel Najjar for assistance with data management and analysis; and Steve Graham and Debbie Hildebrandt for record linkage and specimen retrieval.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent M. Yau
    • 1
  • Marta Lutsky
    • 1
  • Cathleen K. Yoshida
    • 1
  • Bill Lasley
    • 2
  • Martin Kharrazi
    • 3
  • Gayle Windham
    • 4
  • Nancy Gee
    • 2
  • Lisa A. Croen
    • 1
  1. 1.Autism Research Program, Division of ResearchKaiser PermanenteOaklandUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health and the EnvironmentUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.Genetic Disease Screening ProgramCalifornia Department of Public HealthRichmondUSA
  4. 4.Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease ControlCalifornia Department of Public HealthRichmondUSA

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