1Assistant Professor, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
2Vice Chancellor for Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3General Physician, Endocrine Research Center
4Professor of Medicine, Endocrine Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: Kerman province was one of the Iran regions with endemic goiter. Following initiation of the program of iodine deficiency control in 1989, production, distribution and consumption of iodized salt were begun. This study was done in 2001, as part of the national monitoring survey, in Kerman. Method: In this study, 1200 schoolchildren, aged 7-10 years (600 boys & 600 girls), were selected randomly from all regions of Kerman and the grade of goiter was determined according to WHO classification. Urinary iodine content was estimated using the digestion method in one tenth of the subjects. Results: Total goiter rate was 31.6% (28% in girls and 35.2% in boys). Median urinary iodine was 15.8 µg/dl. Urinary iodine was above 10 g/dl in 78.6% and less than 5 µg/dl in 4.5% of the subjects and no one had urinary iodine below 2 µg/dl. Conclusion: It is concluded that the rate of goiter in Kerman has decreased significantly since 1996 and urinary iodine levels in schoolchildren are indicative of adequate iodine intake. Therefore, Kerman province can be considered as a “iodine deficiency free” zone.