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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM (IJEM)   WINTER 2008 , Volume 9 , Number 4 (SN 36); Page(s) 439 To 453.
 
Paper: 

HISTORY OF THE IODINE DEFICIENCY IN THE WORLD AND IRAN

 
 
Author(s):  DELSHAD H.*
 
* RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR ENDOCRINE SCIENCES, SHAHID BEHESHTI UNIVERSITY, (M.C.)
 
Abstract: 

Introduction: Iodine deficiency today is a risk factor for delayed growth and development and is the most common preventable cause of brain damage worldwide. Over of 2 billion (38%) of the world’s population from 130 countries are at risk. Iodine deficiency causes inadequate thyroid hormone production, iodine being essential constituent of the thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency was once considered a minor problem, causing goiter; however it is now known that the effects on the developing brain are much more deadly, and constitute a threat to the social and economic development of many countries. The history of iodine deficiency began with the first reports of goiter and cretinism, dating back to the ancient civilizations, the Chinese and Hindu cultures and then to Greece and Rome. The first detailed descriptions of these subjects and documentation of the word “cretin” appeared in Diderot’s encyclopedia in 1754, to refer to an “imbecile who is deaf, dumb with a goiter hanging down to the waist”, at that time widely present in Switzerland, southern France and Northern Italy. The 19th century marked the beginning of serious attempts to control the problem, however, not until the latter half of the 20th century that the necessary knowledge for effective prevention and control was acquired; present-day practice is based on the work of David Marine, who in 1915, declared that “endemic goiter is the easiest known disease to prevent.” In the same year, Hunziger proposed that iodized salt be used for goiter control in Switzerland. Today the number of countries with iodine deficiency as a public health problem has decreased from 110 to 45, between 1993 and 2003. An estimated 41 million annual newborns still come into the world unprotected from brain damage as a result of iodine deficiency. Monitoring of IDD elimination programs and education are two of the crucial elements for sustainability. Successes in some countries, e.g., Iran, China, Cameroon and Peru, show that sustainable optimal iodine nutrition is possible.

 
Keyword(s): IODIN DEFICIENCY DISORDER (IDD), GOITER, IODINE
 
References: 
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