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Map showing world-wide iodine-deficiency


Towards the elimination of iodine deficiency and preventable thyroid-related diseases

Why iodine deficiency?

Iodine deficiency is the world’s leading cause of preventable brain damage and for years the World Health Organization has warned that Europeans are increasingly affected by the consequences of iodine deficiency. In fact, iodine deficiency is the most important risk factor for thyroid disease in adults and children.

What is EUthyroid?

EUthyroid is a Horizon 2020 project which aims to identify and overcome the negative health effects associated with iodine deficiency. It is the first pan-European initiative to take on the challenge of investigating the iodine intake of the European population.

The project should provide the basis to develop appropriate measures for harmonising and improving the iodine intake in Europe in cooperation with national authorities.

Who is involved?

Professor Jayne Woodside, QUB, is the UK representative of EUthyroid. A total of 22 Member States of the and five Associated Countries (Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland) participate in EUthyroid. The project is coordinated by University Medicine Greifswald in Germany.

Professor Woodside has completed surveys of iodine status in Irish schoolgirls and in women during pregnancy, and viewed the EUthyroid collaboration as an excellent opportunity to pool these data and look at the situation on a Europe-wide level. She was invited to the consortium through the Irish representative for the World Health Organisation and International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.

Professor Woodside says "I found the opportunity to collaborate and work as part of a large consortium very appealing. The support provided by the QUB Research Support office for grant preparation was incredibly helpful."

More information is available on the EUthyroid website: