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Epidemiol Health. 2017;39(1):e2017055. English. Original Article.
Tigabu E , Bekele KB , Dachew BA .
Ethiopian Paediatric Association, Amhara Region, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia.


Goiter is a major public health problem, especially in developing countries such as Ethiopia. Hence, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of goiter among children in Waghimra Zone, northeast Ethiopia.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from April 8 to 25, 2015 in northeast Ethiopia. A multistage sampling method was used to select 454 schoolchildren. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Children were examined for the presence or absence of goiter based on the criteria of the United Nations Children's Fund, International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency, and the World Health Organization. Salt samples from children's homes were tested for iodine levels using a rapid iodized salt test kit. Data were entered into EpiInfo version 7 and exported to SPSS version 20 for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were fitted, and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were computed to determine the level of significance.


The prevalence of goiter was 62.1% (95% CI, 57.5 to 66.5%). Being female (aOR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.57 to 6.08), having a family history of goiter (aOR, 5.18; 95% CI, 2.43 to 11.03), and using non-iodized salt (aOR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.12 to 4.38) were factors associated with goiter among schoolchildren.


The prevalence of goiter was high. Being female and having a family history of goiter increased the risk of goiter in children, but using iodized salt was protective. Therefore, we recommend ensuring universal access to iodized salt and increasing the awareness of the community of the importance of iodized salt utilization.

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