Effects of Autoimmune Thyroid Disorder during Pregnancy on Infants Development and Mother’s Psychiatric Health

Author: Toseef Imtiaz

Supervisor: Dr. Nosheen K. Rahman

Degree: M.Phil

Year: 2000-2002

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


Women with Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO-Ab) positive during pregnancy have the chance of Postpartum Thyroiditis as well as Postpartum Mood Disorder. The TPO-Ab positive in mothers during pregnancy may also effect motor and mental development of infants. In this retrospective and prospective study 83 women, who had already gone through the test ofT4, TSH and TPO-Ab during the second trimester of their pregnancy, were selected from the record of department of National Health and Research Center, Sheikh Zayed Hospital. The intelligence level and mental and motor development of the infants between the ages of 2 months to 30 months, was assessed by using Slosson Intelligence Test (SIT) and Bayley Scale of Infant Development (BSID). Infants of the women with TPO-Ab positive (n=40) had significantly lower IQ than those of the normal mothers (n=43) on SIT. Similarly there was a significant difference between the mean score on mental (t = 2.22*, df= 81, p<0.05) and on motor (t = 2.90*, df= 81, p<0.05) scales of BSID as well as on SIT (t= 2.08*, df= 81, p<0.05). Psychiatric disorders in mothers were assessed by the use of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). There was a significant difference between the two groups (t =5.70*, df= 81, p<0.05) for depression only on HADS. The same level of difference was yielded by the scores on Depression Scale of MMPI (t=5.47*, df= 81, p<0.05). However the same was not the case on rest of the scales. The study also suggests that infants of women who had elevated liters of TPO-Ab but normal thyroid function during pregnancy are at risk of impaired motor and mental development.

Keywords: Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Postpartum Thyroiditis, Postpartum Mood Disorder, Motor and Mental Development, Anxiety, Depression.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245