Congenital hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland at birth) resulting in growth retardation, developmental delay and other abnormal features. Can be due to deficiency of iodine in the mother’s diet during pregnancy. The condition is detected today by newborn thyroid screening. The word “cretin” is said to have come from the Old French “chretien” meaning “Christian” because heretical Christians, to escape persecution, fled into iodine-deficient valleys in the Pyrenees in southwest France and had children with congenital hypothyroidism. However, the origin of the term “cretin” is conjectural and could come from “cretura” (creature) or ‘creta” (chalk, pale) or some other root.
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Obsolete term for congenital hypothyroidism. See infantile hypothyroidism.

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cre·tin·ism -ən-.iz-əm n a usu. congenital abnormal condition marked by physical stunting and mental retardation and caused by severe thyroid deficiency called also infantile myxedema

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a syndrome of dwarfism, mental retardation, and coarseness of the skin and facial features due to lack of thyroid hormone from birth (congenital hypothyroidism).

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cre·tin·ism (kreґtin-iz-əm) a chronic condition due to congenital severe hypothyroidism; manifestations begin in late infancy and include arrested physical development (dwarfism), mental retardation, dystrophy of the bones and soft parts, and lowered basal metabolism.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • cretinism — CRETINÍSM s.n. Boală, de obicei congenitală sau dobândită în primii ani de copilărie, cauzată de o dezvoltare insuficientă a creierului, asociată cu o insuficienţă a glandei tiroide, care se manifestă prin tulburări în creştere, prin înapoiere… …   Dicționar Român

  • Cretinism — Cre tin*ism (kr[=e] t[i^]n*[i^]z m), n. [F. cr[ e]tinisme.] A condition of endemic or inherited idiocy, accompanied by physical degeneracy and deformity (usually with goiter), frequent in certain mountain valleys, esp. of the Alps. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cretinism — [krēt′ niz΄əm] n. [Fr crétinisme: see CRETIN] a congenital deficiency of thyroid secretion with resulting deformity and mental deficiency …   English World dictionary

  • Cretinism — This article is about the medical condition. For other uses, see Cretin. Congenital iodine deficiency syndrome Classification and external resources ICD 10 E00 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • cretinism — cretin ► NOUN 1) a stupid person. 2) Medicine, dated a person who is deformed and mentally handicapped because of congenital thyroid deficiency. DERIVATIVES cretinism noun. ORIGIN from Swiss French crestin Christian , apparently used to convey a… …   English terms dictionary

  • cretinism — noun Date: 1801 a usually congenital abnormal condition marked by physical stunting and mental retardation and caused by severe hypothyroidism …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cretinism — /kreet n iz euhm/ or, esp. Brit., /kret /, n. Pathol. a congenital disease due to absence or deficiency of normal thyroid secretion, characterized by physical deformity, dwarfism, and mental retardation, and often by goiter. [1795 1805; < F… …   Universalium

  • cretinism — noun A condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to the untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones. See Also: cretin …   Wiktionary

  • cretinism — Synonyms and related words: acromegaly, amentia, arrested development, backwardness, blithering idiocy, choriocarcinoma, diabetes, diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, dwarfism, giantism, half wittedness, hyperglycemia, hyperparathyroidism,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • CRETINISM —    a disease prevalent in valleys as those of the Alps, characterised by mental imbecility, and associated with abnormal and arrested physical development …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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