The Child

Iodine deficiency in children is characteristically associated with goiter. The goiter rate increases with age and reaches a maximum at adolescence. Girls have a higher prevalence than boys. Goiter rates in schoolchildren over the years provide a useful indication of the presence of iodine deficiency in a community.

In a review of 18 studies, a comparison was made between IQ scores in iodine-deficient children and carefully selected control groups. The iodine-deficient group had a mean IQ that was 13.5 points lower than that of the non-iodine-deficient control group. Detailed individual studies demonstrating these defects in Italian and Spanish schoolchildren as well as those from Africa, China, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea have been published. There is a serious problem in Europe as well as in many developing countries.

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