Guam Iodine Deficiency Survey

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), with the Guam Department of Education (GDOE), and with technical and financial support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are conducting the Guam Iodine Deficiency Survey from May 14 to June 29, 2012.

Iodine is an element required to make thyroid hormones, which are important for growth, development, and brain function. Not getting enough iodine leads to health problems such as mental retardation, intellectual disabilities (Cretinism), goiter, miscarriage, stillbirth and several others. Getting enough iodine is most important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, women who may become pregnant, and young children.

There has never been a study done on iodine on Guam, or any of the Micronesian islands. In Fiji and Vanuatu, where studies have been done, iodine deficiency was found to be a problem, so iodine deficiency may be a problem in Guam too.

Participants for the Guam Iodine Deficiency Survey have been randomly selected from randomly selected Guam public schools and prenatal clinics. The project is surveying 1020 school children from grades 3 to 6, and 290 pregnant women.

We request everyone in our community to support this project to find out our people’s iodine status.

For more information, please call Mr. Lawrence Alam at 475-0284 or Mr. Charles H. Morris, RD, LD at 475-028.

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