Thyrotoxicosis after iodine fortification: A 21-year Danish population-based study

Mads Petersen, Nils Knudsen, Allan Carlé, Stig Andersen, Torben Jørgensen, Hans Perrild, Lars Ovesen, Lone Banke Rasmussen, Betina Heinsbaek Thuesen, Inge Bülow Pedersen

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OBJECTIVE: Monitoring the influence of cautious iodine fortification (IF) on the incidence rate of overt thyrotoxicosis in Denmark with formerly frequent multinodular toxic goitre.

DESIGN: A 21 year (1997-2017) prospective population-based study identified all new cases of overt biochemical thyrotoxicosis in two open cohorts: a Western cohort with moderate iodine deficiency (ID) and an Eastern cohort with mild ID (total n=533,969 by January 1st , 1997). A diagnostic algorithm was applied to all thyroid function tests performed within the study areas. Mandatory IF of salt was initiated in mid-2000 (13 p.p.m.). The present study is a part of DanThyr.

RESULTS: The standardized incidence rate (SIR) of thyrotoxicosis at baseline (1997-1998) was 128.5/100.000/year in the cohort with moderate ID and 80.1 in the cohort with mild ID. SIR increased markedly in both cohorts during the initial years of IF (moderate/mild ID: +39/+52% in 2000-01/2004-05) and subsequently decreased to baseline level (mild ID) or below (moderate ID) by 2008. The decline was due to a marked decrease in the incidence rate among elderly subjects and a moderate decrease among the middle aged. The follow-up period for the mildly iodine deficient cohort was restricted to 2008. A continuous decline in SIR was observed for the remainder of the study period in the area with moderate ID (33% below baseline in 2016-17).

CONCLUSION: The rise in thyrotoxicosis incidence with cautious mandatory IF returned to baseline level after 7-8 years and levelled out at 33% below baseline in the population with previously moderate ID after 16-17 years. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • epidemiology
  • hyperthyroidism
  • incidence
  • iodine
  • thyrotoxicosis


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