Associations between newborn Thyroid Stimulating Hormone concentration and neurodevelopment and growth of children at 18 months

Molla Mesele Wassie, Lisa Gaye Smithers, Lisa Nicole Yelland, Maria Makrides, Shao Jia Zhou

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The study aimed to assess the associations between newborn thyroid stimulating hormone concentration (TSH), a marker of iodine nutrition in early life, and childhood neurodevelopment and growth using data collected from two pregnancy studies, one in a borderline iodine deficient setting (DOMInO Study) and one in an iodine sufficient setting (PINK Study). TSH data were obtained from routine newborn screening. Neurodevelopment was assessed at 18 months using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development third edition (Bayley-III). Weight, height and head circumference were measured at 18 months. In total, 1467 children were included in the analysis. Comparing the highest with the lowest TSH quartile, the Mean Differences (MDs) in the Bayley-III scores ranged from -2.0 (95% CI: -4.7, 0.7) to -2.2 (95% CI: -5.8, 1.3) points in DOMInO and 1.0 (95% CI: -1.6, 3.6) to 2.0 (95% CI: -0.4, 4.4) points in PINK in the cognitive, language and motor scales; the MDs in the anthropometric z scores ranged from -0.01 (95% CI: -0.5, 0.5) to -0.5 (95% CI: -0.9, -0.1) in both studies. A 1 mIU/L increase in TSH was associated with -0.3 (95% CI: -0.9, 0.2) point and 0.2 (95% CI: -0.3, 0.7) point changes in the mean cognitive score in the DOMInO and PINK, respectively. A null association between TSH and growth was also observed in both studies. Longitudinal studies that utilize newborn TSH data and examine neurodevelopmental outcomes at later ages are warranted, as neurodevelopmental assessments in older children are more predictive of later achievement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bayley-III
  • Key words:
  • TSH
  • development
  • growth
  • iodine
  • thyroid stimulating hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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