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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2003 Sep;11(3):120-3.

Control of iodine deficiency in Western and Central Europe.

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Executive Director and Regional Coordinator emeritus for Europe of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), Department of Pediatrics, University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.


The paper summarizes the updated information published in peer review journals on the status of iodine deficiency in Western and Central Europe. Nationwide evaluations of the prevalence of goiter and of the concentrations of urinary iodine were conducted during recent years in 17 of the 31 countries of Western and Central Europe, mostly in school-aged children. Fourteen of the 31 countries had reached a normal status of iodine nutrition, three countries were close to iodine sufficiency, iodine deficiency persisted in 13 other countries and data are missing for Albania. The most important alterations of thyroid function due to iodine deficiency in Europe occur in neonates and very young infants. The major measure for the prevention of iodine deficiency is the fortification of all salt for human and animal consumption and for the food industry. The recommended daily intake of iodine for all ages in all inhabitants in Europe are as follows: 90 microg/day from 0 to 59 month, 120 microg/day between 6 and 12 years, 100 microg/day in adolescents and adults and 200 microg/day in pregnant and lactating women. The main guidelines for the correction of iodine deficiency in Europe are included.

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