Mass Iodine Deficiency Discovered in Israel

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The first national iodine survey conducted in Israel has revealed a high burden of iodine deficiency among Israelis.

According to survey, 62% of school-age children and 85% of pregnant women in Israel have low iodine intakes.

The median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) among Israel’s pregnant women, only 61 micrograms iodine/liter and for school-age children, the median of 83 micrograms/liter suggest that the iodine status in Israel is amongst the lowest in the world.

Iodine adequacy is defined by the WHO as a population median of 150-249 micrograms/liter for pregnant women and 100-199 micrograms/liter for school-age children.

Iodine deficiency poses a high risk of impaired neurological development.

Israel is among the few countries that have never performed a national iodine survey, and does not provide iodine prophylaxis, even though some of its population has suffered from ID in the past.

Iodine deficiency in utero and in early childhood impairs brain development, and severe iodine deficiency causes cretinism (physical malformation, dwarfism and mental retardation) and goiter (the enlargement of the thyroid gland).

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