Background: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is the commonest congenital endocrine disorder in the world and also the commonest most preventable cause of mental retardation. Screening is mandatory in developed countries, but none exists in sub-Saharan country. We present a preliminary report of the first Nigerian screening for CH.
Objective and hypotheses: To screen normal newborn babies in different regions in Nigeria and to determine the normal range of TSH in Nigerian babies.
Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 in six different tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. Cord and heel prick blood were dropped in four circles on a Whartman filter paper. Samples were transferred to Charité Universitätmedizin Berlin, Germany via courier in batches within 1 week of collection and were analysed for TSH using 1235AutoDelfia Perkin/Elmer immunoassay machine. Normal TSH level was set between 0.3 and 5.5 μIU/ml and levels >50 μIU/ml were considered positive for CH. SPSS 20 was used to analyse mean TSH (±S.D.) for sex, birth weights, socioeconomic class, and birth city. Pearsons correlation was used to determine association between TSH and birth weight, SEC, and birth city. P value<0.05 was considered significant.
Results: A total of 2014 subjects were recruited during the study period. Female:male ratio was 1.07:1. The mean TSH was 1.86 μIU/ml (S.D. 2.25). 1543 (76.6%) of subjects had TSH levels within normal range with regards to international reference values. Twenty-two (1.1%) subjects had elevated TSH values but none had CH. There was no significant difference between sex (P=0.309) or birth weight (P=0.316).
Conclusion: The mean TSH level of our subjects is similar to those obtained in the countries doing newborn screening. Though no CH was picked, we advocate immediate mandatory newborn screening for all newborns in Nigeria.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology