The next step towards the elimination of iodine deficiency and preventable iodine-related disorders in Europe
The iodine status is a primary determinant of thyroid disorders, which are a major cause of morbidity, particularly in women. In addition, even mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy is related to neurocognitive impairment in the offspring. Iodine deficiency imposes tremendous costs on the health-care systems of affected regions, but can easily be prevented by iodine fortification programmes. In many countries, iodine deficiency receives surprisingly little publicity.
The initial EUthyroid consortium evaluated European prevention programmes against iodine deficiency and uncovered major limitations including the low awareness on the importance of iodine for healthy living. EUthyroid2 will now fill important gaps in the prevention of iodine deficiency in Europe and beyond.
The main objective of EUthyroid2 is to improve the low awareness with respect to iodine deficiency-related risks in adolescents and young women. The major aim is to find best practice models for accessing and informing them to increase their awareness and to improve their iodine status in order to lay the foundation for their own thyroid and general health and that of their offspring.
Implementation studies and community-based randomised-controlled trials will be conducted with the objective of increasing iodine-related awareness in adolescents and young women up to age of 24 before pregnancy. The interventions are multimodal and performed in the two settings educational system and ambulatory care in eight study regions.
As public health project EUthyroid2 is not only science, but will also serve our societies. Therefore, dissemination of findings to various sectors of our countries and the EU will be of utmost importance. By finding best practice models to raise the awareness on the importance of iodine for a healthy life of their own and their offspring in young people, EUthyroid2 will lay the foundation for a cost-effective way to eradicate iodine deficiency-related disorders.