Background: Some hilly-mountainous regions of Mures County, located in the geographical center of Romania, were known as moderately mild iodine-deficient areas before the universal use of iodized alimentary salt was compulsorily implemented in practice in 2003. A partial evaluation was performed in 2006, but the sustainability of this prophylactic program was not evaluated afterward.
Objective and hypotheses: To assess the current iodine status of schoolchildren living in three rural localities of formerly iodine-deficient endemic area Gurghiu valley, and to evaluate the changes of iodine status in the last 7 years.
Material and methods: Schoolchildren aged between 6 and 14 years were investigated during October-November 2013, physical examination and thyroid ultrasound being performed in 95, urinary iodine excretion (UIE) in 120 and hormone investigations (TSH and free-T4) in 84 cases.
Results: According to the age- and gender-related thyroid volume measured ultrasonographically, the frequency of goiter was 6.2% in 2013, which is a significant reduction compared to the 20% seen in 2006 (P=0.0038; RR=1.49; 95% CI=1.211.83). The mean UIE was 337±190 μg/l in 2013 (35% of the children having elevated IUE), which shows a normal, even an almost increased iodine-supply in this region. This is a significant elevation compared to that of 73.7±52.5 μg/l obtained in 2006. In 2013 seven children (7.1%) had subclinical hypothyroidism, which is a significant reduction compared to the frequency of 17.7% registered in 2006 (P=0.038, RR=1.38; 95% CI=1.101.74).
Conclusion: Regions of Mures County known as iodine-deficient in 20032006 became now iodine-sufficient areas, even observing in 35% of the children high iodine supply.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology