BACKGROUND: Perchlorate and similar anions compete with iodine for uptake into the thyroid by the sodium iodide symporter (NIS). This may restrict fetal growth via impaired thyroid hormone production. METHODS: We collected urine samples from 107 pregnant women and used linear regression to estimate differences in newborn size and gestational age associated with increases in perchlorate, thiocyanate, nitrate, and perchlorate equivalence concentrations (PEC; measure of total NIS inhibitor exposure). RESULTS: NIS inhibitor concentrations were not associated with newborn weight, length, or gestational age. Each 2.62ng/mug creatinine increase in perchlorate was associated with smaller head circumference (0.32cm; 95% CI: -0.66, 0.01), but each 3.38ng/mug increase in PEC was associated with larger head circumference (0.48cm; -0.01, 0.97). CONCLUSIONS: These anions may have effects on fetal development (e.g. neurocognitive) that are not reflected in gross measures. Future research should focus on other abnormalities in neonates exposed to NIS inhibitors.
School of Medicine