Indices of thyroid function were measured in 229 healthy term neonates at birth and at 5, 10, and 15 days of age. Results were analysed to assess whether maternal diabetes mellitus, toxaemia of pregnancy, intrapartum fetal distress, duration of labour, method of delivery, asphyxia at birth, race, sex, birthweight, birth length, head circumference, or method of feeding influenced any index. Thyroxine, the free thyroxine index, and free thyroxine concentrations at birth correlated with birthweight. Method of delivery influenced mean thyroxine and free thyroxine index values at birth and at age 5 days. Mean values of triiodothyronine, reverse triiodothyronine, thyroxine binding globulin, and thyroid stimulating hormone were not affected by any of the perinatal factors studied. Birthweight and perhaps method of delivery should be taken into account when interpreting neonatal thyroxine parameters but determination of thyroid stimulating hormone as a screen for congenital hypothyroidism in healthy term neonates circumvents these considerations.
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