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Brain damage of the unborn
EUthyroid2: Project against iodine deficiency during pregnancy

The new EU project EUthyroid2 is trying to prevent the negative effects of iodine deficiency during pregnancy through improved education in gynaecological practices and schools. Insufficient iodine status during this period can lead to permanent damage to the child, reducing the child's IQ by 8 to 10 points. This risk should not even exist, as it can easily be remedied through iodine fortification programmes or better nutrition.


Iodisation of table salt for human and animal consumption is a simple and common way to prevent iodine deficiency in pregnancy.

Iodisation of salt for human and animal consumption is a particular candidate for this. The EUthyroid2 consortium, now funded with 2.5 million euros for four years, aims to establish best practice models in several countries in Europe and beyond to improve young people's awareness of their iodine status, especially young women of childbearing age.

To this end, Prof. Freia De Bock, paediatrician, public health scientist and head of health services research at the Department of General Paediatrics, Neonatology and Paediatric Cardiology and the Centre for health and Society (chs) at the University Hospital Düsseldorf, will work with her team and international partners to develop and design the educational interventions in different countries around the world, including countries such as Norway, Denmark, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

A lot needs to be done to raise awareness: Because the first assessment of iodine deficiency prevention in Europe by the previously funded EUthyroid1 consortium in Europe found that consciousness of the importance of iodine intake as a basis for a healthy life of mother and child is very limited; surprisingly even among physicians.

Dr Henry Völzke, physician and epidemiologist from the University Medical Center Greifswald, Germany, leads the overall consortium. "As a public health project, EUthyroid2 is not only science, but will also serve our society by finding models to increase awareness of the importance of iodine for a healthy life in young people."

University of Greifswald, press release

Kategorie/n: Medizinische Fakultät
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