Iodine deficiency produces the spectrum of iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) including endemic goiter, hypothyroidism, cretinism and congenital anomalies. Other factors, including goitrogens and micronutrient deficiencies may influence the prevalence and severity of IDDs and response to iodine supplementation. An association between zinc and goiter has previously been reported.
A cross sectional study investigating an association between goiter and serum zinc status was performed in 2003 in a mountainous region of Iran. One thousand eight hundred twenty-eight children were selected by multistage cluster sampling. Goiter staging was performed by inspection and palpation. Serum zinc, total thyroxine, thyroid stimulating hormone and urinary iodine concentration were measured in a group of these children.
Thirty six and seven tenth percent of subjects were classified as goitrous. Serum zinc level in goitrous and nongoitrous children was 82.80 ± 17.85 and 83.38 ± 16.25 μg/dl, respectively (p = 0.81). The prevalence of zinc deficiency (serum zinc ≤65 μg/dl) in goitrous and nongoitrous children did not differ significantly (9.3 % vs. 10.8%, p = 0.70).
Goiter is still a public health problem in Semirom. According to the present study zinc status may not play a role in the etiology of goiter in Semirom school children. However, the role of other goitrogens or micronutrient deficiencies should be investigated in this region.