Screening for Congenital Hypothyroidism in East Azerbaijan province, IRAN


1 Assistant Professor of Community Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Infectious diseases, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 General Practitioner, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Student of statistics, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


Background & Aims: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is one of the most common preventable causes of
mental retardation throughout the world. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of CH
among newborns of East Azerbaijan province in 2009-2010.
Methods: This descriptive analytic study was performed by using census cross- sectional method on 62459
neonates in East Azerbaijan province from 21st March 2009 to 20th March 2010. Blood samples were taken
within the 3rd -5th days of life by lancet sticking of neonatal heel and transferred to filter papers for measuring
TSH level. In the case of TSH  5mu/l, additional confirmation tests were done and confirmed cases based
on serum confirmation test (TSH>10 mu/l or T4<6.5µg/dl) underwent treatment according to the national
guidelines. Data were analyzed by SPSS software.
Results: The recall rate was 2.5%. Total number of patients was 94, including 55 males (58.5%) and 39
females (41.5%). Prevalence in males, females and overall was respectively 1:588, 1:769 and 1:666, with no
significant difference. Seasonal prevalence was respectively 1:833, 1:943, 1:492 and 1:588 that shows no
significant difference among four seasons. The highest prevalence was in Tabriz (27.7%) and the lowest in
Azarshahr (0%) and Kaleibar (0%). Mean maternal age of affected neonates was 26.22 ± 6.2 years. Mean
neonate's weight was 3500 ± 652 grams. In 76% of neonates time of sampling was in the 3rd -5th days of life
and in 89% of them test result was announced before 13th day. Mean treatment onset based on neonate's age
was 2.7±1 day. In 97.5% of screened neonates TSH level was less than 5 mu/l.
Conclusion: The prevalence of CH in East Azerbaijan province is significantly higher than national and
worldwide levels that requires continuation and reinforcement of neonatal screening programs. On the other
hand, comprehensive and complementary studies for recognizing relevant factors are among priorities of
health system research in this province.