Thyroid dysfunction and thyroid antibodies in a mild to moderate iodine deficiency area
Background and aims
Albania is considered a region with mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency. The improved salt iodization program implemented in 2008 elevated the median urinary iodine excretion levels to the lower recommended level and reduced goiter prevalence in schoolchildren. Most of regions still remain with a mild or moderate iodine deficiency.Meanwhile there are no studies on prevalence of thyroid autoimmune disorders. The purpose of this study was to evaluate thyroid function and the presence of thyroid antibodies in a cohort of Albanian individuals not previously examined for thyroid diseases.
Material and method:
This is a cross-sectional study performed during a 2 year period (january 2019-january 2021). We assessed the prevalence of thyroid function disorders and presence of thyroid antibodies in 458 individuals (80% females and 20% males.Statistical analysis was performed to see the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction and presence of thyroid antibodies.
88.6 % (406) of subjects resulted euthyroid.We found a low prevalence of overt thyroid dysfunction (hyperthyroidism 1.1% and hypothyroidism 3.1%). The rates of subclinical hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were 5.5% and 1.7% respectively. The prevalence of positive thyroid antibodies, at least one of them was 26.5% in females and 11.8 % in males (2,2:1 ratio). 21 % (96 individuals) from 458 examined, had normal thyroid function and resulted positive for anti TPO or anti TG
Undiagnosed biochemical thyroid dysfunctions were common in Albania, a country with mild to moderate iodine deficiency especially subclinical hypothyroidism. TSH level correlated well with the presence of antibodies. Measuring TPO antibodies in euthyroid subjects can be used to identify subjects with increased risk for hypothyroidism