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Iodine deficiency (ID) is the world’s leading cause of thyroid disorders and the single most important and preventable cause of brain damage. For adolescents and, particularly, for young woman, even mild-to-moderate ID during pregnancy is related to neurocognitive impairment in the offspring.
Regardless of warnings from the World Health Organization that Europeans are increasingly affected by the consequences of ID as well as the fact that ID can easily prevented, for example, by universal salt iodinization, Europe belongs to the worst regions in terms of access to iodized salt.
Therefore, EUthyroid as an EU-funded public health research project targets the elimination of ID and preventable thyroid-related diseases in Europe becoming the benchmark of ID prevention worldwide.
After uncovering low awareness on the importance of iodine for healthy living within the frame of EUthyroid, the main objective of EUthyroid2 is to fill important gaps in the prevention of iodine deficiency in Europe and beyond.
An important step is the improvement of that low awareness with respect to iodine-related risks in adolescents and young woman. For this purpose, implementation studies and community-based randomized-controlled trials will be conducted with interventions performed in the educational system and ambulatory care in eight study regions.
By finding the best practice models, EUthyroid2 will lay the foundation for a cost-effective way to eradicate iodine deficiency-related disorders.