Newborn thyrotropin screening confirms iodine deficiency in Latvia

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Objective and setting:

The national neonatal thyrotropin (TSH) screening data for 2000-2002 were analysed to assess the extent and severity of iodine deficiency in Latvia.


Elevated newborn TSH (>5 mIU/l) decreased from 16.5 to 10.4% and 8.4% in 2000, 2001 and 2002, respectively. For each year and in all regions, the prevalence of elevated newborn TSH was above the cut-off level indicative for a public health problem. A positive correlation (r=0.82, P<0.05) existed between elevated newborn TSH and low urinary iodine excretion among a nationwide sample of school children in 2000.


Latvia is iodine deficient, putting each new generation at risk of preventable brain damage.

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