07 May, 2021

Pass The Salt

Iodine deficiency diseases on the rise again

Pass The Salt

IDDS, or Iodine Deficiency Disorders, have never been on the government list of priority health  issues. Till now, that is. A recent cross-country study by the Directorate General of Health Services, Indian Council of Medical Research and state health directorates have thrown up alarming figures. The study says “no state is free from iodine deficiency disorder. Out of 324 districts surveyed in 28 states and Union territories, 263 are endemic—where the prevalence of IDDS is more than 10 per cent”. The survey also says a large number of pregnant women in rural India as well as adolescent children are becoming victims of iodine deficiency.

While goitre is traditionally the disease associated with iodine deficiency, other problems are becoming prevalent now, including physical and mental retardation, dwarfism, abortions and still-births. “Apart from the visible manifestation in the form of goitre (where the thyroid glands swell up), our studies in UP and Bihar showed a large number of neo-natal cases of thyroid...

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