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Could Pregnancy Hormones Affect How Good Your Child Is At Maths?

Section: Pregnancy

Your hormone levels in pregnancy could determine your child’s maths skills when she’s five years old

Children’s who’s mums had low levels of the hormone thyroxine when pregnant were more likely to do badly in school maths tests, a study has found.

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The hormone is passed from mums to their child in the womb and helps the brain develop.

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Researcher Martijn Finken, a paediatric endocrinologist from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, followed around 1200 children from when they were in the womb until they started school.

He looked at each child’s mum’s thyroxine levels when they were 12 weeks pregnant and compared the findings with the children’s maths and language test results at age five.

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Keeping in mind each child’s family background and health at birth, Martijn found that children who were exposed to low levels of thyroxine were 90 per cent more likely to do badly in maths. However, the hormone levels didn’t seem to affect the children’s language skills.

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