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A Report on Goiter Survey among School Age Children (6-12 years) in Northern India


S Muhammad Salim Khan, Inaamul Haq, Mohsina Mukhtar, Abdul Roof, Rouf Hussain Rather and Sheikh Mohd Saleem*

Background: Deficiency of iodine causes goiter which is a visible sequelae. One of the major impacts of iodine deficiency is that it can lead to impaired neurodevelopment particularly in early life. Goiter surveys are conducted to identify areas of IDD and can be used as a baseline assessment of a region’s iodine status and as a sensitive long-term indicator for the success of an iodine programme. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 6-12 years children by the Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, in collaboration with Department of Drug and Food Control Organization under NIDDCP, in district Anantnag, Kashmir division (J&K) during the month of March and April, 2017. The sample size of 2700 was calculated using the method of Population Proportionate to Size (PPS) sampling in the age group of 6-12 years children. Demographic variables and goiter grade was recorded by trained health professionals, assessment of goiter was done clinically by inspection and palpation of the thyroid gland. Results: In this study, we studied a total of 2700 school children in the age group of 6-12 years from district Anantnag with mean age of 9.69 ± 2.02 years. 50.7% were boys. The age distribution prevalence of goiter was observed to be 13.8% with highest prevalence seen among schools children of age 8-10 years (45.8%). The prevalence of grade 1 goiter was more than ten folds higher than grade 2 goiter. It has been observed that Achabal and Mattan zone have higher prevalence of grade 1 & grade 2 Goiter 22.40% and 22.22% respectively. Achabal and Mattan zone have goiter prevalence of moderate severity and outnumber other zones. Conclusion: The present study shows that Kashmir division is still an endemic area, where goiter remains a significant public health problem. Effect of geographical locations, dietary factors, storing salt techniques, cooking techniques and interaction of iodine with other nutrients are some areas where further research can be done in future.

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