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Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1980 Dec 27;110(52):2010-7.

[Thyroid weights and iodized salt prophylaxis: a comparative study from autopsy material from the Institute of Pathology, University of Zurich].

[Article in German]


Based on autopsy material from the Institute of Pathology, University of Z├╝rich, thyroid weights and goiter incidence were investigated and the results correlated with goiter prophylaxis. Autopsy protocols of the years 1949/50 adn 1978/79 were reviewed for thyroid weights as well as for age and sex of patients. Average thyroid weights and goiter incidence were determined separately for both sexes and for different age groups. The values for both periods (1949/50) and 1978/79) were compared and related to results reported in the literature. Thirty years ago the mean thyroid weights were very high, although as an effect of goiter prophylaxis with iodized salt, introduced in 1923, the thyroids of younger adults were significantly lighter than those of older groups. 30 years later the thyroids were only half the weight of those in the years 1949/50. Goiter incidence decreased to the same degree. In addition, some preexisting goiters were found to have decreased in size within the 30 year span. The average thyroid weights of adults up to 40 years of age are now largely the same as in regions without endemic goiter. The few remaining goiters may be explained by a still insufficient iodination of table salt. However, other pathogenic factors, e.g. disturbances of hormone synthesis, must also be considered.

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