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Iodine Deficiency Affects Brain Growth of 600,000 Newborns Every Year

About 600,000 to one million new-born babies in China suffer iodine deficiency every year, which affects their brain growth, said experts in Beijing Monday, China's iodine deficiency prevention day.

Research by Tianjin Medical University, in north China, shows that iodine deficiency will impair the intelligence of children.

In China, some 600,000 to one million newborns, out of the total 20 million born every year do not get enough iodine, said Chen Zupei, head of China iodine deficiency panel.

According to the research, the average intelligence quotient in the iodine defected areas is 10 to 12 points lower than the other areas.

It was estimated that 700 million people in China suffered iodine deficiency in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Chinese government has implemented an iodized salt program to solve the problem. There are still 65 million who have not had access to the iodized salt, said Chen.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2006)

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