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Endocrinol Nutr 2003;50:357-62 - DOI: 10.1016/S1575-0922(03)74554-9
Bocio endémico por exceso de yodo en la población escolar de los campos de refugiados de la RASD (República Árabe Saharaui Democrática)
Endemic goiter associated with high iodine intake in primary school children in the saharawi arab democratic republic
F.J. Díaz-CadÓrnigaa, E. Delgadoa,, , T. Tartóna, M.M. Valdésb, A. Méndezb, M.T. Fernándezb, C. Rojob
a Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. Oviedo
b Servicio de Bioquímica Clínica. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. Oviedo. España
Recibido 17 febrero 2003, Aceptado 14 julio 2003
Resumen

The high prevalence of goiter in Saharan children visiting Asturias in the summer prompted us to study the problem in greater depth.

Neck palpation was performed in a sample of 570 school children from the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Weight, height, T4, thyroid-stimulating hormone and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies in capillary blood were determined. Urine samples were taken to measure iodine, fluoride and thiocyanate content. These substances were also determined in drinking water.

Goiter was found in 58.1% of the children (7% grade 2). Prevalence was greater in girls (65.4 vs 51.4%). The mean urinary excretion of iodine was 965 ± 348 µg/l, with no differences in gender or degree of goiter. In all children thyroid function was normal and autoimmunity was negative. Thiocyanate levels were normal. Iodine concentration in drinking water was 180-400 µg/l, with high fluoride content (0.7-1.5 mg/l).

In summary, we describe a geographical area with a high prevalence of goiter (58%) among school children and high urinary iodine levels (965 ± 348 µg/l). The main source of these highly elevated quantities was drinking water (between 180 and 400 µg/l). Thyroid function was normal. Autoimmunity was ruled out as the etiology of this endemic goiter and antithyroid compounds were not found in water or in the children's urine.

We believe that the high prevalence of goiter in this population could be due to many factors such as excess iodine and fluoride, the hardness of the drinking water, and possibly to occasional water contamination.

Palabras clave
Bocio endémico, Exceso de yodo, Escolares
Key words
Endemic goiter, High iodine intake, School children
El Texto completo solo está disponible en PDF
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Correspondencia: Dr. E. Delgado. Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición. Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias. Celestino Villamil, s/n. 33006 Oviedo. España. (E. Delgado eliasdelgado@telefonica.net)
Copyright © 2003. Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición