Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 87–97 | Cite as

Iodine deficiency status in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region: a systematic review

  • Masoumeh Mohammadi
  • Fereidoun Azizi
  • Mehdi Hedayati
Review Paper


Iodine deficiency is a global public health issue because iodine plays a major role in the thyroid hormone synthesis and is essential for normal neurological development. This review summarizes the publications on iodine status in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) countries. All related studies available in main national and international databases were systematically searched using some specific keywords to find article published between 1909 and 2015. The prevention of iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) in the WHO EMR countries is currently under control without significant side effects. Mild to severe IDDs exist in some countries of the Middle East, due to lack of effective iodine supplementation program, but the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Bahrain and Tunisia have achieved the goal of universal salt iodization. Overall, despite enormous efforts to control IDDs, still IDD remains a serious public health problem in some countries of the region, requiring urgent control and prevention measures.


Iodine Iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) Goiter WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) 



The authors wish to acknowledge Ms. Niloofar Shiva for critical editing of English grammar and syntax of the manuscript.


The study was funded by the Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Neither author has any conflict of interests to declare in relation to this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masoumeh Mohammadi
    • 1
  • Fereidoun Azizi
    • 2
  • Mehdi Hedayati
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine SciencesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Research Institute for Endocrine SciencesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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