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Access, availability, and infrastructure deficiency: The current management of thyroid disease in the developing world

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Abstract

Thyroid disease, a neglected tropical disease and the most common noncommunicable disease in the developing world, is overlooked, under-diagnosed, and inadequately managed. The spectrum of thyroid disorders in the developing world is qualitatively different from that found in industrialized countries. This qualitative difference has resulted in limited access to clinical, laboratory, and imaging resources that are necessary for the care of patients with thyroid disease. The management of thyroid disease in the developing world is comparable to the care provided for disorders of the thyroid in North America fifty years ago.

This article reviews public health and clinical aspects of developing world medical and surgical thyroid disease. Topics covered include iodine deficiency disorders, congenital hypothyroidism, goiter, thyroid cancer, and hyper- and hypothyroidism. The review concludes with a description of programs based on smartphone technology to improve the availability, affordability, and quality of thyroid disease care.

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Correspondence to Joel Ehrenkranz.

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Conflict of interest

Dr. J. Ehrenkranz is the named inventor on patents relating to smartphone point-of-care disease management technology. These patents are assigned to a company in which Dr. Ehrenkranz has equity ownership.

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Fualal, J., Ehrenkranz, J. Access, availability, and infrastructure deficiency: The current management of thyroid disease in the developing world. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 17, 583–589 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-016-9376-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-016-9376-x

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