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Iodine deficiency (ID) is the world’s leading cause of thyroid disorders and the most important and preventable cause of brain damage. For adolescents and particularly for young women, even mild-to-moderate ID during pregnancy is related to neurocognitive impairment in the offspring.
The World Health Organization warned that Europeans are increasingly affected by the consequences of ID and highlighted that ID can easily be prevented, for example, by universal salt iodization. However, Europe still belongs to the worst regions in terms of access to iodized salt.
Therefore, EUthyroid2, as an EU-funded public health research project, targets the elimination of ID and preventable thyroid-related diseases in Europe, becoming the benchmark of ID prevention worldwide.
After uncovering low awareness of the importance of iodine for healthy living within the frame of EUthyroid, the main objective of EUthyroid2 is to fill important gaps in the prevention of iodine deficiency in Europe and beyond.
An important step is the improvement of that low awareness with respect to iodine-related risks in adolescents and young women. For this purpose, implementation studies and community-based randomized-controlled trials will be conducted with interventions performed in the educational system and ambulatory care in eight study regions. By finding the best practice models, EUthyroid2 will lay the foundation for a cost-effective way to eradicate iodine deficiency-related disorders.