Normal thyroid function in young adults who were born very preterm

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There is some evidence for elevated thyrotropin (TSH) levels in children born preterm, but follow-up studies into adulthood are lacking. We tested whether thyroid function in young adults born at a gestational age <32 weeks, with either an appropriate (appropriate for gestational age, AGA) or low birth weight for gestational age (small for gestational age, SGA), differed from that in age-matched controls. We made our measurements when the study participants reached 21 years of age. Serum concentrations of TSH and free T4 (fT4) and body composition were measured in subjects born preterm and AGA (n=29) or SGA (n=28), and in non-preterm controls (n=30). The TSH and fT4 concentrations of participants were within normal limits. Free T4 levels in subjects born preterm were slightly higher than those in controls: 17.0±2.4 (AGA) and 17.2±1.7 (SGA) vs. 16.1±1.9 pmol/L (p=0.04). TSH concentrations did not differ between groups. From these preliminary data, we conclude that young adults born preterm have a normal thyroid function. © 2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-891
JournalJournal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

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