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Soy formula complicates management of congenital hypothyroidism
  1. S C Conrad,
  2. H Chiu,
  3. B L Silverman
  1. Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S C Conrad
    Children’s Hospital Oakland, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, 747 Fifty Second Street, Oakland, CA 94609, USA;


Aims: To test the hypothesis that feeding soy formula to infants with congenital hypothyroidism (CH) leads to prolonged increase of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

Methods: The study was a review of 78 patients seen during their first year of life between 1990 and 1998. Data regarding clinical diagnosis, date of treatment initiation, TSH, levothyroxine dose, weight, length, and diet information from each visit were collected from the charts.

Results: There were eight patients in the soy diet group and 70 in the non-soy diet group. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the starting dose of levothyroxine or the change in this dose over one year. There was a significant difference between the two groups in the following areas: time to TSH normalisation, first TSH on treatment, percentage with increased TSH at 4 months of age, percentage with increased TSH throughout the first year of life, and in the overall trend of TSH at each visit.

Conclusions: Infants fed soy formula had prolonged increase of TSH when compared to infants fed non-soy formula. These infants need close monitoring of free thyroxine and TSH measurements, and they may need increased levothyroxine doses to achieve normal thyroid function tests.

  • hypothyroidism
  • thyroid function tests
  • soy formula
  • thyrotropin
  • CH, congenital hypothyroidism
  • T4, thyroxine
  • TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone

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