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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 8, No. 3, 2008, pp. 180-185
Bioline Code: hs08038
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2008, pp. 180-185

 en Youth of west-Cameroon are at high risk of developing IDD due to low dietary iodine and high dietary thiocyanate
Taga, Ibrahim; Oumbe, Valere Aime Soh; Johns, Robert; Zaidi, Mohsin Abbas; Yonkeu, Jeanne Ngogang & Altosaar, Illimar


Background: Hypothyroidism in utero leading to mental retardation is highly prevalent in developing countries where iodine deficiency and thiocyanate overload are combined.
Objective: To explore prevalence of IDD in Bamougoum, a mountain region of western Cameroon, by studying urinary iodine and thiocyanate excretion levels in children.
Methods: Bamougoum district in western Cameroon was selected for closer study due to its geographic location predisposing to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). A comprehensive sampling strategy included 24-h urine samples collected over three days from 120 school-aged children. Urinary iodine and thiocyanate levels were measured by colorimetric methods.
Results: Twenty one percent of boys between the ages 3 and 19 were classified as iodine deficient. The prevalence of thiocyanate overload in the same population was found to be 20%.
Conclusion: Presence of endemic iodine deficiency and excessive thiocyanate in the population indicates that the region is at risk of iodine deficiency disorder. A multifactorial approach that includes improvement of diet, increasing iodine and minimizing goitrogen substances intake, soil and crop improvement and an iodine supplementation program may help alleviate IDD in the affected area studied.

iodine deficiency, Cameroon, iodine, thiocyanate, food, urine

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