Testosterone levels in umbilical cord blood linked to language development delay
Researchers have linked high prenatal testosterone levels to increased risk of language delay in male infants, who were twice as likely to experience delays in language development compared to females.
Language delay is one of the most common reasons children are taken to a pediatrician, Andrew Whitehouse, PhD, professor at the University of Western Australia, said in a press release. Now these findings can help us understand the biological mechanisms that may underpin language delay, as well as language development more generally.
The researchers determine the presence of testosterone in umbilical cord blood in 767 newborns, and then examined the childrens language ability at ages 1, 2 and 3 years. Male infants with high testosterone levels were more likely to experience language delay. Female infants with high testosterone levels, however, had a decreased risk of language delay.
According to the researchers, previous studies explored a link between testosterone levels in amniotic fluid and language development.