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Protein-bound iodine (PBI) and urinary iodine excretion levels in subjects residing in several goiter areas in New Guinea demonstrate a severe iodine deficiency in both goitrous and non-goitrous individuals. Such deficiency also prevails in some goiter-free adjacent populations. In the large goiter belt of the Central Highlands of Western New Guinea, starting east of the Wissel Lakes, there is a goiter-surrounded enclave at Ilaga wherein the population is goiter-free and without iodine deficiency. In the population of Bellona Island in the Solomons, in which there are cases of familial goiter and cretinism, there is no iodine deficiency. Many New Guinea populations present no evidence of hypothyroidism or goiter, although they are on deficient iodine intakes as low as 20 /ag/day.