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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


ASCURRA, Marta et al. Incidence of Congenital Hypothyroidism in 14 Health Regions of Paraguay. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2009, vol.36, n.2, pp.109-113. ISSN 1683-9803.

Congenital hypothyroidism is one of the most common treatable causes of mental retardation, occurring in approximately 1 in 3,000 newborns. We investigated the incidence of congenital hypothyroidism in Paraguay, where iodine deficiency disorders are considered endemic. Between October 1999 and February 2007, a total of 53,360 blood samples from 76 sampling stations in 14 of the country’s 18 health regions were taken by heel prick and collected on filter paper. Screening was initially carried out as part of a pilot project and later as part of the program for prevention of cystic fibrosis and mental retardation. Thyroid-stimulating hormone was measured by the ELISA method, and a value of >20 IU/ml was considered the cutoff point for recall.  Results were obtained in 96% (n: 52,526) of samples. Positive results were found in 0.08% (40/52,526) and congenital hypothyroidism was confirmed in 35 cases, an incidence of 1 in 1,501 births, with a female to male ratio of 6:1. This incidence of congenital hypothyroidism is the highest yet reported in Latin America, a fact that emphasizes the importance of implementing this type of program in the fight to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders.

Keywords : iodine deficiency; newborn; Paraguay.

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