In the United States, newborn infants between 24 and 72 hours old are tested for congenital thyroid deficiency (cretinism) using a test that measures the levels of thyroxine in the infant's blood.
Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in cretinism in newborns, involving mental retardation and a large tongue.
Goiter is reversible with treatment but cretinism is not.
Littre defines them as "a people of the Pyrenees affected with a kind of cretinism."
To-day their descendants are not more subject to goitre and cretinism than those dwelling around them, and are recognized by tradition and not by features or physical degeneracy.