|Abstract (English)|| |
The region of Grobnik, in the north west of Croatia, 15 km away from the Adriatic coast and 400 meters above the sea level, used to be known as a centre of endemic goitre. Iodine prophylaxis of 10 mg KJ added per kilo salt started in Croatia during the year 1953 and it was increased to 25 mg KJ per kilo in 1996. During 1961, the prevalence of goiter among Grobnik school children was 63%, while in the adult population it was 34%. In 1981, 18% of goitrous school children and 11% of goitrous adults were found in the same region, which shows the fall in goitre prevalence in the twenty-year period, from a severe to a mild one. The aim of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of iodine prophylaxis in goitre eradication and to compare the obtained results to those found in the same region 20 and 40 years ago, namely, in 1961 and 1981. The research was conducted in 2001. We examined 472 Grobnik inhabitants, 378 children (196 girls and 182 boys, aged 7–15 years) and 94 adults. Regarding their size thyroid glands were graded according to WHO and PAHO classification. Data regarding lifestyles and health conditions were collected by individual and family questionnaires. The prevalence of goitre in 2001 was 6.6% in school children and 6.4% in adults. In relation to 1981, we found a statistically significant fall of goitre in school children at the level of p<0.01 (x2=23.65), but the prevalence change was not statistically significant in adults (p>0.01, x2=1.419). The frequency of thyroid gland hereditary diseases in native inhabitants was high, 11.7%. There were no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of goitre
or thyroid hereditary diseases between groups of native and newcomers’ children. According to our results, in the year 2001 the area of Grobnik was still was a region of a mildly expressed endemic goitre. This study presents final results of a 40-year long follow up of endemic goitre eradication, demonstrating the long-term effectiveness of iodine prophylaxis.