SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.25 issue3Effect of Uncaria tomentosa (Cat´s claw) over dendritic cells population and activation in peripheral blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




  • Have no cited articlesCited by SciELO

Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Acta Médica Peruana

On-line version ISSN 1728-5917


PRETELL ZARATE, Eduardo A.  and  HIGA YAMASHIRO, Ana María. Sustained elimination of iodine deficiency disorders in Peru: 25 years experience. Acta méd. peruana [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.3, pp.128-134. ISSN 1728-5917.

Introduction: Endemic goiter and cretinism in both highlands and Amazon jungle regions have been recognized in Peruvian history, because of the permanent natural iodine deficiency in these areas, and both conditions received little attention. New research studies initiated in the 60s proved the persistence of severe iodine deficiency, and also that this deficiency is a cause of preventable brain damage, so a program for controlling iodine deficiency disorders was created in 1983, and it was fully implemented in 1986. Material and method: The strategic action plan of the program included immediate protection of the population at high risk with the use of iodized oil and a progressive increase in production, quality and consumption of iodized salt. At the same time a well-trained and motivated national network was developed, with the support of an intensive communication program, advocacy and social marketing, and with systematic monitoring of the iodine contents in salt and iodine levels in the population. Results: Since 1995, the demand of iodized salt is well covered, and adequately iodized salt is consumed by more than 90% of households since 1998. Currently, iodine nutritional levels are normal, and the median urinary iodine value, the best indicator of iodine levels, has stayed above 100 ìg/L since 1995. A significant decrease in the prevalence of goiter was already observed six years after the program started. Factors for this Program success include monitoring and surveillance systems, as well as effective communication and support from the Ministry of Health and the salt industry. Conclusions: Perú has succeeded in the sustained elimination of iodine deficiency disorders, preventing brain damage in six hundred thousand newborns each year. The control program has been recognized as one of the most successful of its kind all over the world.

Keywords : iodine deficiency; IDD elimination; iodized salt; urinary iodine.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )