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Iodine deficiency disorders among school children of Dakshin Dinajpur District, West Bengal



Iodine deficiency disorders among school children of Dakshin Dinajpur District, West Bengal



Indian Journal of Public Health 49(2): 68-72



Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are major public health problems in India, including West Bengal. Existing programme to control IDD needs to be continuously monitored through recommended methods and indicators. Thus we undertook the study to assess the prevalence of goiter, status of urinary iodine excretion (UIE) level and to estimate iodine content of salts at the household level in Dakshin Dinajpur district, West Bengal. We conducted a community-based, cross-sectional study in 2004; among 2250 school children, aged 8-10 years. The '30 cluster' sampling methodology and indicators for assessment of IDD, as recommended by the joint WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD consultation, were used for the study. Goitre was assessed by standard palpation technique, UIE was analyzed by wet digestion method and salt samples were tested by spot iodine testing kit. Of the 2250 children, 419 (18.6%) had goitre (95% CI = 17.0 - 20.2%). Total goitre rate (TGR) was not significantly different in respect of gender, age and religion. Visible goitre rate was 2.5%. Median urinary iodine excretion level was 16 mcg/dL (normal: > or = 10 mcg/dl.) and 16.5% children had value less than 5 mcg/dL. Only 67.4% of the salt samples tested had adequate iodine content of > or = 15 ppm, with significant difference between Hindus and Muslims (chi2 = 12.68, d.f. = 1, p < 0.01). TGR of 18.6% indicate the district is still endemic for IDD, but median urinary iodine within normal range reflects no current iodine deficiency. The district is in the transition phase from iodine-deficient to iodine-sufficient. Measures are to be sustained for successful transition towards elimination.

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Accession: 049408082

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