Iodine Global Network (IGN)

30.08.2013   IDD Newsletter 3/2013

In this issue:
  • India
  • IDD on Islands
  • UNICEF report
  • Autism
  • Cambodia
  • Growth and IQ
  • Israel
  • Basil Hetzel
  • West Bank
  • Hidden Hunger
  • Meetings and Announcements
  • Abstracts


IDD control in India: triumphs and challenges

(JH Rah, AM Anas, A Chakrabarty, R Sankar, C Pandav, VM Aguayo)
India recognized iodine deficiency as a national health concern after independence and began supplying iodized salt to its endemic population as early as the 1960‘s. The Government of India launched the National Goiter Control Program (NGCP) in 1962, in an attempt to provide iodized salt to identified goiter endemic districts. A turning point came in 1983 when the eradication of goiter was included as ‘Point Eight’ in the Prime Minister‘s 20-point National Development Program. Consequently, in 1983, the government made a historic policy decision to strive for USI and permitted the commercial production of iodized salt by the private sector...

Island populations may be iodine deficient despite their proximity to the sea: iodine deficiency on the islands of Madeira and the Azores

(E Limbert)
This study evaluated iodine intake on the islands of Madeira and Azores, in two populations – school children and pregnant women. It was decided to extend a recent iodine study, performed in continental Portugal to these regions. Urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) of 987 children, 6-12 years of age and from both genders were studied; 311 were from schools of Madeira and 676 from schools of Azores...

New UNICEF report finds coverage of iodized salt varies considerably by region and by household income

Globally, interest in nutrition has increased dramatically. Recurrent food shortages, rising food prices, strengthened evidence and rising obesity have created the impetus for widespread concern and action. More than ever, investing in nutrition is seen as a key development priority to benefit global welfare. The Group of 8 (G8) of the world’s wealthiest countries has put nutrition high on its development agenda. A new UNICEF Report: “Improving child nutrition: the achievable imperative for global progress”...

Increased risk of autism in children born to mothers with poor thyroid function

Pregnant women who don‘t make enough thyroid hormone are nearly 4 times likelier to produce autistic children than healthy women, report scientists from the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and Erasmus Medical Centre in the Annals of Neurology. The association emerged from a study of more than 4,000 Dutch mothers and their children, and it suggests some autism spectrum disorders can be caused by a lack of maternal thyroid hormone, which past studies have shown is crucial to the migration of fetal brain cells during embryo development...

Personal Stories: Seeing first-hand how iodized salt eliminates iodine deficiency disorders in Cambodia

(Bona Khoy)
In 1997, Bona Khoy was a UNICEF Communication Assistant documenting the impact of IDD in Cambodia. Now a Communication Officer, he recently revisited one family and saw first-hand how iodized salt had made a difference in their lives...

Introduction of iodized salt in the 1920’s linked to increased IQ and growth in the U.S. and Switzerland

The U.S. and Switzerland were the first countries to introduce iodized salt to their populations. Two historical studies looking at 100-year old army conscription data suggest this public health measure sharply improved growth and cognition in the 1920s...

Seawater desalination and iodine deficiency: is there a link?

(Ovadia YS, Troen AM, Gefel D.)
Israel is one of the few countries that have no iodization policy and where a national iodine survey has never been done [1]. This is in part due to the unfounded but widespread belief that proximity to the sea prevents iodine deficiency. Of concern, between 2003-2010, the use of thyroid disease medication among Israeli adults increased from 2.9% to 4.7%. In many countries, iodine deficiency is a significant risk factor for thyroid disease...

Basil Hetzel: vanquishing iodine deficiency disorders

The story of Basil Hetzel‘s fight against IDD begins in 1964, in the highland villages of Papua New Guinea. A medical scientist with an interest in thyroid disorders, Hetzel had been invited by the country‘s Public Health Department to investigate the goiter and cretinism that was prevalent in the mountain communities...

West Bank salt factory tackles iodine deficiency

(Noora Faraj)
The Dead Sea is one of the world‘s saltiest bodies of water, around eight times saltier than the ocean. A new salt factory is iodizing this salt for the benefit of the local Palestinian population...

New Hidden Hunger map: Global distribution of iodine deficiency differs from other micronutrient deficiencies

The unified global efforts to mitigate the high burden of vitamin and mineral deficiency, known as hidden hunger, in populations around the world are crucial to the achievement of most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indices and maps of global hidden hunger are useful to help prioritize program assistance, and to serve as an evidence-based global advocacy tool...