Congenital hypothyroidism (CH), an inborn condition in which thyroid hormone (TH) levels are insufficient for normal development, is one of the most common preventable causes of intellectual disability worldwide. Proper screening, diagnosis and early initiation of treatment can prevent serious impacts, including permanent intellectual disability. However, 70% of newborns worldwide do not undergo screening, which is not established in all countries globally. The clinical report, “Congenital Hypothyroidism: Screening and Management,” along with an accompanying technical report, are published in the January 2023 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 19). The reports, written by the AAP Section on Endocrinology and Council on Genetics, along with the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the American Thyroid Association, offer updated recommendations on newborn screening for CH, which can be performed via a blood sample that should be obtained after 24 hours of life (preferably between 48 to 72 hours). The report includes recommendations for optimal evaluation and treatment of infants with CH. In addition, the reports recommend that all women take prenatal vitamins containing 150 mcg of iodine daily before and during pregnancy and during breastfeeding, because iodine is a critical component of TH production.
[Embargoed until 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 19. For embargoed copies of the clinical and technical reports or an interview with an author, contact AAP Public Affairs.]
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.