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Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Aug;2(3):683-702.



A large number of agents in the environment and some medications are known to interfere with thyroid gland function, posing the danger of thyroid disease. Pollutants that cause goitre are known as environmental goitrogens which may cause the condition by acting directly on the thyroid gland but also indirectly by altering its regulatory mechanisms and the peripheral metabolism and excretion of thyroid hormones. However, the mechanism that induces the trophic changes leading to goitre formation, and in some instances with hypothyroidism, is not well understood. Antithyroid compounds may enter into the water, air and food exposure pathways, becoming an important environmental goitrogenic factor in man and other animals. Naturally-occurring and anthropogenic agents may act as goitrogens, as well as some drugs, which in the presence of dietary iodine deficiency may exaggerate the goitre and associated disorders. In iodine-sufficient areas, these compounds may be responsible for the development of some "sporadic' goitres or the persistence of the goitre endemia with its associated disorders. At present, medical or surgical treatments for the individual, but not measures for prevention and control at community level, are being applied in iodine-sufficient goitre areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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