Background: Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) represent a global health threat to individuals and societies. IDD prevention programmes have been introduced in many parts of the world. However, challenges remain, particularly in Europe due to fragmentation and diversity of approaches that are not harmonized. Objectives: This review is dedicated to the public-health impact of IDD prevention programmes. It sums up experiences collected by the EUthyroid consortium so far and provides information on stakeholders that should be involved in actions directed to improve the impact of IDD prevention. Methods: A joint European database for combining registry-based outcome and monitoring data as well as tools for harmonizing study methods were established. Methods for analyzing thyroglobulin from a dried blood spot are available for assessing the iodine status in the general population and at-risk groups. Mother-child cohorts are used for in-depth analysis of the potential impact of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency on the neurocognitive development of the offspring. A decision-analytic model has been developed to evaluate the long-term effectiveness and cost effectiveness of IDD prevention programmes. Results: EUthyroid has produced tools and infrastructure to improve the quality of IDD monitoring and follows a dissemination strategy targeting policymakers and the general public. There are tight connections to major stakeholders in the field of IDD monitoring and prevention. Conclusions: EUthyroid has taken steps towards achieving a euthyroid Europe. Our challenge is to inspire a greater sense of urgency in both policymakers and the wider public to address this remediable deficit caused by IDD.

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European Thyroid Journal
Department of Internal Medicine

Völzke, H., Erlund, I., Hubalewska-Dydejczyk, A., Ittermann, T., Peeters, R., Rayman, M., … Lazarus, J.H. (John H.). (2018). How do we improve the impact of iodine deficiency disorders prevention in Europe and beyond?. European Thyroid Journal (Vol. 7, pp. 193–200). doi:10.1159/000490347