The inhabitants of Lazio, similarly to those of other Italian regions, have been historically exposed to the detrimental effects of an inadequate intake of iodine. The latter is a micronutrient essential for the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones (TH). Iodine deficiency is responsible for a number of adverse effects on human health known as iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the most common of which worldwide are goiter and hypothyroidism. In order to reduce IDD, a national salt iodination program was started in Italy in 2005. In this article we reviewed the available data regarding iodine intake in the Lazio population before and after the introduction of the national salt iodination program, in order to evaluate its efficacy and the eventual problem(s) limiting its success. On the whole, the information acquired indicates that, following the introduction of the program, the dietary iodine intake in the Lazio population is improved. There is, however, still much work ahead to ameliorate the iodine prophylaxis in this region. In fact, although a generally adequate iodine intake in school-age children has been observed, there are still areas where a mild iodine insufficiency is present. Moreover, two independent epidemiological surveys on pregnant women evidenced a low urinary iodine concentration with respect to the reference range conceived by the World Health Organization. These findings demonstrate the need for greater attention to the iodine prophylaxis by health care providers (i.e., obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, etc.), and the implementation of effective advertising campaigns aimed at increasing the knowledge and awareness of the favorable effects of iodine supplementation on population health.
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