The aim of the present study was the observation of the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the population in low endemic goitre area after mass iodine prophylaxis after the Chernobyl catastrophe and the estimation of TSH and thyroid hormones secretion in this population. On the basis of the investigations carried out we could conclude that the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the population with confirmed endemic goitre is comparable to the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the healthy population. ATA occurrence in children after iodine prophylaxis could confirm the hypothesis that thyroglobulin immunity is higher after iodine intake. The lower T3 concentration observed in the group with antithyroid autoantibodies suggests that autoantibodies may be involved in the thyroid hormones synthesis or peripheral conversion of thyroid hormones.
The survey carried out in 1990 covering the population of Sejny community, sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, program MZXVII, demonstrated the occurrence of goiter in 33.6% of studied persons. Such an incidence can rightly be recognized as an endemy. Predominance of cases with small or moderate enlargement of the thyroid (OB and I), low percentage of nodules (18%), and 2.8 times more frequent occurrence of goiter in women allows o characterize the endemy as mild. The percentage of goiter in this population does not differ from that found in this area before the Chernobyl disaster. However a small increase in the incidence of thyroid enlargement in a group of boys of age between 17 and 19 years, and an increase in percentage of nodular goiter in whole population was noted. The questionnaire studies confirmed in addition a high effectiveness of mass iodine prophylaxis introduced after the atomic disaster, especially in the population of developmental age. However, because of the latency period concerning the possible effects, the results obtained will be verified in the course of long-term prospective studies.