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Maternal Thyroid Disease May Increase Risk of Birth Defect

Increased risk of craniosynostosis seen among newborns whose mothers have thyroid disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal thyroid disease may increase the risk of an infant having craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, researchers report in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sonja A. Rasmussen, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined whether self-reported maternal thyroid disease was associated with craniosynostosis in 431 infants with verified craniosynostosis and 4,094 matched control infants.

The researchers found that 4.4 percent of mothers whose infants had craniosynostosis had thyroid disease compared with only 1.6 percent of control mothers, which translated to an odds ratio of 2.47 after adjusting for maternal age.

"These data provide additional evidence that maternal thyroid disease (most likely Graves' disease) or its treatment is associated with craniosynostosis," Rasmussen and colleagues conclude.

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