Goiter prevalence in school-age children and median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) are the main indicators of iodine deficiency in a population. In areas of mild iodine deficiency, where goiters are small, ultrasound is preferable to physical examination to estimate goiter prevalence. The World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted thyroid volume ultrasonography results from a survey of European schoolchildren as an international reference, but these values have recently been questioned. The aims of the study were: a) to determine regional normal echographic reference values of thyroid volume in children aged between 11 and 14 yr in the Veneto Region, in North-East Italy; b) to determine goiter prevalence by physical and ultrasonographic examination; c) to determine UIC in this section of the population. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 1730 schoolchildren, aged between 11 and 14, living in towns in low-lying areas, in the valleys of the pre-Alps and in the mountains between 600 and 1200 m. Thyroid volume was evaluated by inspection and palpation using the WHO criteria. In 560 children thyroid volume was determined by ultrasound. UIC was measured in 1368 children. On physical examination a grade I goiter was found in 7.5% of children. No goiter grade II or grade III was found. The regional thyroid volume reference values by ultrasonography were similar, or slightly lower (5-20%), to the corresponding WHO reference values. Mean UIC was 148 +/- 110 microg/l, with no difference between lowlands and uplands; UIC values less than 100 microg/l were found in about 30-35% of the children. UIC was higher in children using iodized salt than in non-users. No correlation was found between thyroid volume by ultrasonography and UIC. Thyroid volume was found to be bigger in upland children than in those in low-lying areas, probably because of low iodine intake in people living in the mountains in previous generations. This data show that Veneto is not a iodine-deficient area, with no presence of endemic goiter. However, the great number of children with a UIC of less than 100 microg/l also suggests the use of iodized salt in the Veneto Region.

Normal values for thyroid ultrasonography, goiter prevalence and urinary iodine concentration in schoolchildren of the Veneto Region, Italy

BUSNARDO, BENEDETTO;MIAN, CATERINA;CANDIANI, FRANCESCO;GIRELLI, MARIA ELISA MARISA
2003

Abstract

Goiter prevalence in school-age children and median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) are the main indicators of iodine deficiency in a population. In areas of mild iodine deficiency, where goiters are small, ultrasound is preferable to physical examination to estimate goiter prevalence. The World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted thyroid volume ultrasonography results from a survey of European schoolchildren as an international reference, but these values have recently been questioned. The aims of the study were: a) to determine regional normal echographic reference values of thyroid volume in children aged between 11 and 14 yr in the Veneto Region, in North-East Italy; b) to determine goiter prevalence by physical and ultrasonographic examination; c) to determine UIC in this section of the population. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 1730 schoolchildren, aged between 11 and 14, living in towns in low-lying areas, in the valleys of the pre-Alps and in the mountains between 600 and 1200 m. Thyroid volume was evaluated by inspection and palpation using the WHO criteria. In 560 children thyroid volume was determined by ultrasound. UIC was measured in 1368 children. On physical examination a grade I goiter was found in 7.5% of children. No goiter grade II or grade III was found. The regional thyroid volume reference values by ultrasonography were similar, or slightly lower (5-20%), to the corresponding WHO reference values. Mean UIC was 148 +/- 110 microg/l, with no difference between lowlands and uplands; UIC values less than 100 microg/l were found in about 30-35% of the children. UIC was higher in children using iodized salt than in non-users. No correlation was found between thyroid volume by ultrasonography and UIC. Thyroid volume was found to be bigger in upland children than in those in low-lying areas, probably because of low iodine intake in people living in the mountains in previous generations. This data show that Veneto is not a iodine-deficient area, with no presence of endemic goiter. However, the great number of children with a UIC of less than 100 microg/l also suggests the use of iodized salt in the Veneto Region.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2456662
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