Background: Goiter, an indicator of chronic iodine deficiency, is a major public health problem for populations living with iodine deficient environment, particularly for young children. It is a threat to the social and economic development of many developing countries including Ethiopia. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and associated factors of goiter among rural children aged 6-12 years, Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods. A community based cross-sectional study was employed from July to December 2012 in Lay Armachiho district. A total of 698 children aged 6-12 years were included in the study. Multistage sampling was used. Children were examined for the presence/absence of goiter using a criterion set by World Health Organization. The level of Iodine of the salt was estimated by using spot testing kits. Descriptive and summary statistics were employed. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify associated factors. The degree of association was assessed by using Odds ratio with 95% confidence interval were computed to see the presence and strength of association.
Results: Totally 694 children were included in the analysis. The prevalence of goiter was found to be 37.6%. Goiter of grade 1 was 28.5% and that of grade 2 was 9.1%. 29.7% of the samples had adequate iodine content. The age of child (AOR: 1.24,95% CI: 1.12, 1.36), being female (AOR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.38-2.85), salt iodine level (AOR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.27, 0.71), family history of goiter (AOR = 3.18, 95% CI: 2.08, 4.858), fish consumption (AOR = 0.42, 95% CI; 0.22, 0.80) were factors associated with goiter.
Conclusion: Chronic iodine deficiency was a severe public health problem in the study communities. Ensuring the consumption of iodized salt and promotion of fish intake at the household level are highly recommended.
- Iodine deficiency