Journal article

Free testosterone levels in umbilical-cord blood predict infant head circumference in females

Andrew JO Whitehouse, Murray T Maybery, Roger Hart, Deborah M Sloboda, Fiona J Stanley, John P Newnham, Martha Hickey



AIM: Fetal androgens influence fetal growth as well as postnatal neurocognitive ability. However, to our knowledge, no published study has prospectively examined the impact of early-life androgens on infant brain growth. We report the association between circulating fetal androgen levels, measured from umbilical-cord blood at birth, and a proxy measure of brain growth: head circumference. METHOD: Participants were 82 unselected female infants from a large representative birth cohort (mean gestational age 39.4 wks, SD 1.7). Umbilical-cord blood was obtained at birth and analysed for androgen concentrations (total testosterone, androstenedione, dehyrdroepiandrosterone, and its sulphated metabo..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, The Raine Medical Research Foundation, The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and the Women and Infants Research Foundation. Funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (no. 403968) and Australian Rotary Health was used for the androgen analysis. We are extremely grateful to these funders as well as to the families who took part in this study and the whole Raine Study team, which includes data collectors, cohort managers, data managers, clerical staff, research scientists, and volunteers. We also acknowledge EmmaWhitehouse, who made comments on a previous version of this manuscript.