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Thyroid status of Space Shuttle crewmembers: effects of iodine removal.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21235106     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
INTRODUCTION: Iodine is often used for water purification and has been used throughout the U.S. space program. Because of concern about potential effects on crewmembers' thyroid function, in 1997 a system was implemented on board the Space Shuttles to remove iodine from water before it was consumed. We report here thyroid hormone data from crews flying before and after this system was implemented.
METHODS: Blood samples were collected and analyzed for thyroid hormone content during routine medical exams before and after Space Shuttle missions. Data are reported for 224 male and 49 female astronauts (about two-thirds of them before implementation of iodine removal).
RESULTS: Serum concentrations of total thyroxine (T4) and the free T4 index were elevated in men after flight and triiodothyronine (T3) was lower after flight, regardless of iodine removal status. T4 was higher, even before flight, in the group of men who flew after iodine removal was implemented. Conversely, T3 was lower in men who flew during that period. Before iodine removal was implemented, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was elevated in male and tended to be elevated in female astronauts, with average increases of 27% and 19% after flight, respectively. After iodine removal was implemented, postflight TSH was not significantly different from preflight values.
DISCUSSION: These data provide evidence that crewmembers' increase in serum TSH on landing day after early Shuttle flights resulted from their consumption of iodinated water during spaceflight, because the same increase was not observed after implementation of the iodine removal system.
Scott M Smith; Sara R Zwart; Kathleen A McMonigal; Carolyn L Huntoon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  82     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  2011 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-01-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  49-51     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Division, Space Medicine Division, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Attn: Mail Code SK3, 101 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058, USA.
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