‘Is my thyroid problem going to affect my baby?’

We will discuss “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder in children born to mothers with thyroid dysfunction: a Danish nationwide cohort study” by the Andersen and co-workers from 24 September 2014 for 7 days.

*This paper will be made free-to-view on 15 September 2014.

Start date: 24 September 2014 (the discussion will open for 7 days)

First hosted discussion session(s) starts at: BST 7pm (UK time)

Host: @BlueJCHost

Platforms: Twitter

The Blue Journal Club is an international journal club on women’s health research based on Twitter (as @BlueJCHost). We start our conversation on the last Wednesday of each month and use the hashtag #BlueJC for our tweets. Simply add this hashtag (“#BlueJC”) to each tweet and we will capture it. Each #BlueJC opens for 7 days with an advertised start time. All BJOG #BlueJC papers also have complementary slide sets suitable for face-to-face journal clubs with your local colleagues. You can access the slide set of this paper here (data S1).

The discussion points are attached below (quoted from the published manuscript)

Scenario

A pregnant women with hypothyroidism is concerned after reading about the association between thyroid disease and autism. She asks: ‘Is my thyroid problem going to affect my baby?’

 Description of research

Participants Singletons born in Denmark between 1991 and 2004, and alive and living in Denmark at the age of 3 years
Intervention Maternal thyroid dysfunction (hyper- or hypothyroidism), registered before or after childbirth
Comparison Children born to mothers without registered diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy
Outcomes Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diagnosis of ADHD, and/or prescription of ADHD medication
Study design Population-based cohort study

Discussion Points

  • How common are ADHD and ASD in your community?
  • Critically appraise this study using the CASP Checklist for Cohort Studies (http://bit.ly/19nADNW).
  • What was the association between the timing of diagnosis (before or after childbirth) and the outcomes measured?
  • Can you briefly summarise the results of this study and comment on the effect estimates?
  • How likely is it that the observed associations between thyroid dysfunction, ADHD, and ASD are causal (Proc R Soc Med 1965;58:295–300)?
  • Which alternative study design(s) would you choose to answer the question in the scenario? (Data S1)

For those who want to understand hashtags, this may be a useful guide. For an introduction to #BlueJC, please refer to BJOG 2013;120:657–60. Follow @BlueJCHostthis blog and our Facebook page to receive news about #BlueJC.