Abstract

Introduction: Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) create major public health problems in India, including Gujarat. Panchmahal district is known for endemic iodine deficiency. The present study was conducted to (1) estimate the prevalence of goiter in primary school children, (2) determine median urinary iodine concentration, (3) assess the level of iodine in salt samples at the household and retail shop level, and (4) profile of salt sold at retail shops in Panchmahal district, Gujarat. 

Methods: A total of 70 students including five boys and five girls from 1st to 7th standard who were present on the day of the first visit were selected randomly for goiter examination from each village. Urine samples were collected from one boy and one girl from each standard in each cluster. From the community, at least 28 students, including two boys and two girls from each standard in the same age group, were examined, and salt samples were tested from their households. A total of 2100 students were examined in schools and 928 students were examined in the selected villages. From each village, one retail shop was visited, and salts purchased from those shops were immediately tested for iodine with spot kits.

Results: Among young primary school children, goiter prevalence was 23.35% (grade 1—18.35%, grade 2—5.0%). As the ages increase, goiter prevalence also increases except for 9-year-olds. The median urinary iodine excretion level was 110 µg/L. An iodine level >15 ppm was found in 78.3% of the salt samples tested at household level. 

Conclusion: The present study showed considerable goiter prevalence in primary school children in Panchmahal district of Gujarat and an inadequate iodine content of salt at the household level

Key words: Goiter survey, IDD, prevalence, primary school children, household level  
 
 
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