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Announcing the EUthyroid2 Project: Improving low awareness of iodine deficiency among adolescents and young women

30-01-2023     Download PDF

A 4-year EU2.5 million grant has been awarded to the EUthyroid2 Consortium of educational institutions and other partners working to improve iodine status both in Europe and beyond. The Horizon Europe-funded project aims to find best practice models for accessing young people, especially young women, to improve awareness of their iodine status.

Insufficient iodine during pregnancy leads to lasting brain damage that reduce a child’s IQ by 8 to 10 points. Even mild to moderate iodine deficiency at school age can reduce IQ by 3-5 points. It can easily be prevented through iodine fortification programmes, most commonly by iodization of salt for human and animal consumption.

The first EUthyroid consortium’s evaluation of iodine deficiency prevention programmes in Europe uncovered major limitations in awareness of the importance of iodine nutrition for healthy living. “EUthyroid2 will now fill important gaps in the prevention of iodine deficiency in Europe and beyond,” according to CORDIS, the European Commission’s research results organization.

The project involves implementation studies and community-based randomised controlled trials to increase iodine-related awareness in adolescents and young women up to age 24 pre- pregnancy. The multimodal interventions in two settings – educational systems and ambulatory care – will take place in eight study regions, including countries such as Norway, Denmark, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Iodine deficiency imposes tremendous costs on the healthcare systems of affected regions, but can easily be prevented”, said Dr. Henry Völzke, MD, who coordinates the project for the University Medicine Greifswald, Germany. “As a public health project, EUthyroid2 is not only science, but will also serve our societies. By finding models to raise the awareness on the importance of iodine for a healthy life in young people, EUthyroid2 will lay the foundation for a cost-effective way to eradicate iodine deficiency-related disorders”.

The project brings together the expertise of renowned epidemiologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, health economists and communications specialists from a broad range of educational institutions and countries. Other partners with broad global reach include the Iodine Global Network, Thyroid Federation International and the World Iodine Association. For further information about the project, please contact:

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New website for EUthyroid2 to improve the awareness of iodine deficiency and inform about the progress of the project

23-10-2023     Download PDF

The website for the EUthyroid2 project has been launched at It aims to inform the public, the scientific community, other health stakeholders, and policymakers about the progress and achievements of this project.

The website outlines the main objectives, its societal, economic and scientific implications, introduces all partners involved, and informs about major project meetings and developments as they unfold.

The appearance of the website is based on the initial EUthyroid project to retain a strong connection to the previous work. A transition line as a visual element provides a brand distinction between EUthyroid and EUthyroid2.

The first Horizon Europe-funded EUthyroid project drew global attention to the situation of the iodine supply in Europe, suggesting that up to half of the region's newborns are at risk of iodine deficiency.

EUthyroid2 aims to target the low awareness of iodine-related health risks in children and adolescents, especially young women, to ensure the prevention of iodine deficiency in Europe and beyond. Iodine deficiency is the world's largest cause of preventable mental impairment. While the health of all population groups can be affected, pregnant women and children are especially at risk. "Severe iodine deficiency may lead to lasting brain damage in infants. Even mild to moderate iodine deficiency might cause problems with development and growth", explains the leader of this project, Prof. Dr. Henry Völzke, MD, from the University Medicine Greifswald, Germany.

The EUthyroid2 website will be updated regularly and serves as an essential tool to increase awareness by communicating the project's goals, outcomes, impact, important project meetings, and other events to relevant stakeholders and the broader public.

For further information about the project, please contact: