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INTRODUCTION An estimated 750 million people worldwide are at a risk of iodine-deficiency disorders (IDDs), including endemic goitre, hypothyroidism, endemic cretinism, and congenital anomalies (1,2). About 20 million people in Iran suffered from iodine deficiency in 1989 (3) when the national salt-iodization programme was initiated. Despite a comprehensive IDD-control programme, by 1994, less than 50% of rural households consumed iodized salt. Therefore, a law for the mandatory production of iodine salt for households was passed in 1994. Two years after the law was implemented, Azizi et al. evaluated the status of iodine intake in 26 provinces of Iran. They concluded that Iran had reached a sustainable control programme for iodine deficiency (4) as more than 90% of households were consuming iodized salt. However, goitre was endemic in all the provinces, although the majority were Grade I goitre (4). The prevalence of goitre and the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in Isfahan province, a centrally-located city in Iran, was reported to be 40-50% and 13-20 [micro]g/dL respectively in 1994 (4).