The New South Wales tablelands are a known region to have low environmental iodine in soil. This is similar to other regions around the world such as the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea. This is known to impact the food grown locally. The introduction of iodised salt into diets has assisted in reducing the impact. However, modern diets with a reliance on processed foods that are not required to use iodised salt, has left "modern diets" deficient in iodine.

Children born to mothers with an iodine deficiency have an higher incidence of intellectual impairment and developmental delay, seriously impacting their education, employment and quality of life. These are areas already identified nationally for closing the gap in the disparity between Indigenous and non indigenous Australians.

There has been no dedicated study to evaluate the prevalence of goitre in Aboriginal communities. There is a need to validate observations by clinicians in the NSW tablelands of a higher prevalence of goitre in Aboriginal populations than non Aboriginal populations, in order to provide evidence for public health policy makers and stakeholders.


Patrick Oakley

Research Area 
Project type 
Project Grant
Year of funding