Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can cause adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in kids: Study
According to recent research, it has been observed that Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are associated with small increased risks of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring, as published in the JAMA Pediatrics Network.
Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) have been associated with poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes in offspring, but the role of familial confounding in these associations is unclear.
Therefore, Judith S Brand and colleagues from the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden conducted the present study to investigate associations of maternal HDP with risks in offspring of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intellectual disability (ID), as well as variation in overall cognitive performance in offspring.
Diagnoses of ASDs, ADHD, and ID were extracted from the National Patient Register. Cognitive function was assessed using written tests and summarized as a single 9-point score. Whole-cohort and within-sibship analyses were performed; the latter accounted for unmeasured familial confounding factors shared by siblings.
The study included 1 085 024 individuals (556 912 male participants [51.3%]) born between 1987 and 1996 and 285 901 men born between 1982 and 1992 who attended assessments for military conscription. The prevalence of maternal HDP was 4.0% in the 1987-1996 birth cohort (n = 42 980) and 5.1% in the military conscription cohort (n = 14 515). A total of 15 858 participants received a diagnosis of ASD, 36 852 received a diagnosis of ADHD, and 8454 received a diagnosis of ID.
The key findings were -
a. The mean (SD) cognitive score among the men in the conscription cohort was 5.1 (1.9).
b. In whole-cohort analyses with multivariable adjustment, HDP were associated with offspring ASDs (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% CI, 1.13-1.31), ADHD (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05-1.16), and ID (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.27-1.53).
c. Analyses comparing siblings discordant for HDP were less statistically powered but indicated estimates of similar magnitude for ASDs (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.00-1.42) and possibly ADHD (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.95-1.24), but not for ID (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.83-1.29).
d. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were associated with somewhat lower cognitive scores in whole-cohort analysis (mean difference comparing offspring exposed with those unexposed, -0.10; 95% CI, -0.13 to -0.07), but in within-sibship analysis, the association was null (mean difference, 0.00; 95% CI, -0.09 to 0.08).
Hence, the authors concluded that "HDP are associated with small increased risks of ASDs and possibly ADHD in offspring, whereas associations with ID and cognitive performance are likely confounded by shared familial (environmental or genetic) factors."