Dei-Tutu SA, Manful A, Heimburger DC, Malechi H, Moore DJ, Oppong SA, Russell WE, Aliyu MH. Correlating maternal iodine status with neonatal thyroid function in two hospital populations in Ghana: a multicenter cross-sectional pilot study. BMC pediatrics. 2020 Jan 21;20(20). 26 p. PMID: 31964362 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC6974977
Congenital hypothyroidism is a common, yet easily treatable cause of poor growth and intellectual disability. Newborn screening programs play an important role in the early detection and treatment of congenital hypothyroidism. However, an estimated 71% of children are born in countries such as Ghana, which does not have a screening program. Iodine deficiency, a common cause of congenital hypothyroidism, is present in the Ghanaian population. Mild to moderate maternal iodine deficiency may negatively impact cognitive function in children. A structured approach to examine the association between maternal iodine levels and infant thyroid function may have important ramifications on our understanding of congenital hypothyroidism in Ghana. We investigated the hypothesis that maternal iodine deficiency impacts infant thyroid function, using Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) as a marker of thyroid function. We also explored potential opportunities and barriers to newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism in Ghana.