Current status of endemic goiter in Croatia: The results of a nationwide study (1995)
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In the beginning of the nineties, 40 years after introduction of iodine prophylaxis in Croatia, on a basis of a frequent reports coming from general practitioners about the presence of a rather high prevalence of goiter among schoolchildren, a nationwide study was initiated with the aim to determine the real prevalence of goiter in the country. A total of 2856 schoolchildren of both sexes, aged 7–15 years, were included into the study. Investigations were designed in a way to cover most of geographical regions in Croatia and subjects were randomly selected. The prevalence of goiter in schoolchildren was assessed by palpation and in part by ultrasonography of the neck. At the same time urinary iodine excretion was measured and iodine content in salt samples was determined. The results have revealed the persistence of mild endemic goiter in inland parts of Croatia with the prevalence of 6–29% in the age group 7–11 years and those of 10–43% among the age group 12–15 years. The overall goiter prevalence in schoolchildren in Croatia fluctuates from 8% to 35%. Such prevalence, most probably due to less than optimum iodine intake, is unlikely to change until iodine content of the salt is increased from its present level of 10 mg of Kl per kg of salt.
Key-wordsGoiter iodine salt prophylaxis epidemiology Croatia
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