by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Screening is done to find a health problem early and treat it. Tests are often given to people who do not have signs but who may be at high risk for the health problem.

Screening Guidelines

Groups have differing screening guidelines. The decision to have a screening test should be made by a person and their doctor.

Screening may be needed in groups that are at higher risk, such as:

  • All newborns (required in many states)
  • Pregnant women with or without goiter
  • People with:
    • Past thyroid problems
    • Other family members who have had thyroid disease
    • Problems with their immune system, such as type 1 diabetes
    • Mental health problems, such as people who take lithium
    • High cholesterol
    • A thyroid nodule
    • Down syndrome

Screening Test

A blood test will be done to measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). A high level of TSH points to hypothyroidism. If this is high, then a blood test may be done to measure free thyroxine (FT4).


Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Accessed May 4, 2022.

Hypothyroidism in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 4, 2022.

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