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November 1959

The Relation of Endemic Goiter to Deaf-Mutism: Isidor Greenwald, Ph.D., New York

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;70(5):541-544. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730040553001

In another paper, I1 called attention to the large number of deaf-mutes found in those parts of Peru and of the Argentine Republic in which goiter was most prevalent. In such districts, the number of deaf-mutes greatly exceeded the number of cretins and idiots, and they did this to such a degree that the excess could not have been due to other known causes of deaf-mutism but was probably related to goiter.

The relation between endemic goiter and deaf-mutism was once well recognized. Baillarger2 gave it considerable attention, and H. Bircher3 devoted one-third of his book to it. Since then, the subject has almost disappeared from the literature concerning goiter. Most recent books on the thyroid and its diseases either fail to mention deaf-mutism or refer to it only as one of the manifestations of cretinism.

Writers on deaf-mutism have taken much the same attitude. Thus, Watkyn-Thomas