Iodine deficiency

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Iodine deficiency is a very important addressable health problem worldwide with whole population supplementation interventions with potassium iodide and potassium iodate aiming to deliver about 90 µg/day being an extremely cost effective. The gain per disability-adjusted life year is of the order of US $35 [1]. It can still be a significant problem in parts of the world like Nepal and has a distinct risk of occurring in various areas of the world leading to goitre, increased risk of hypothyroidism (if deficiency moderate to severe), impaired mental function in children, adolescents and adults and causes cretinism. Careful monitoring of iodine supplementation at the population level produces benefit for population health by reducing miscarriages, goitre and increasing mean population IQ. Relative change can be important and indeed in populations with chronic iodine deficiency, intervention can lead to iodine induced hyperthyroidism. In some countries iodophors used in milk production are a significant adventitious source that essentially help ensure more than adequate population iodine intake.

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