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J Med Biochem. 2016 Nov 2;35(4):385-389. doi: 10.1515/jomb-2016-0023. eCollection 2016 Oct.

Newborn Screening for Thyroid-stimulating Hormone as an Indicator for Assessment of Iodine Status in the Republic of Macedonia.

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Laboratory for Neonatal Thyroid Screening, Department of Endocrinology and Genetics, University Children's Hospital, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.


in English, Serbian


Iodine deficiency is associated with goiter and impaired brain function leading to cretinism. An increased frequency of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measurements above 5 mlU/L on newborn screening points toward an impaired iodine status of the population.


A 13-year retrospective analysis was performed in 228,266 newborns participating in the national thyroid newborn screening program. The TSH concentration was measured in dry blood spots collected by heel stick on filter paper, 48 hours after birth, using fluoroimmunometric DELFIA method.


Out of 236,378 live-born infants, 228,266 (96.6%) have been screened for TSH, of which 198,213 (86.8%) were retrospectively evaluated for TSH levels above 5 mlU/L. Neonates with congenital hypothyroidism, prematurity, and low birth weight were excluded from the evaluation, as well as the inadequately sampled neonates (13.2%). A national prevalence of 3.08% newborns (n=6,105) with TSH > 5 mIU/L was found. Higher percentages were noted in two regions of the country, indicating possible mild iodine deficiency in these regions and shifting the overall average to above 3%.


Our results indicate overall iodine sufficiency in the Macedonian population. Additional assessment of the iodine intake in the regions with suspected mild iodine deficiency is needed to prevent suboptimal cognitive and psychomotor outcomes.


iodine status; newborn screening; thyroid-

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement The authors stated that they have no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

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