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Women remain at risk of iodine deficiency during pregnancy: the importance of iodine supplementation before conception and throughout gestation


Hynes, KL and Seal, JA and Otahal, P and Oddy, WH and Burgess, JR, Women remain at risk of iodine deficiency during pregnancy: the importance of iodine supplementation before conception and throughout gestation, Nutrients, 11, (1) Article 172. ISSN 2072-6643 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/nu11010172


In Australia, pregnant women are advised to take an iodine supplement (I-supp) (150 g/day) to reduce risks to the foetus associated with iodine deficiency (ID). To examine the impact of this recommendation on iodine status, and to identify factors that contribute to adequacy during gestation, supplement use and Urinary Iodine Concentration (UIC) was measured in 255 pregnant women (gestation range 6 to 41 weeks) in Tasmania. The median UIC (MUIC) of 133 g/L (Inter-quartile range 82⁻233) was indicative of ID, being below the 150⁻249 g/L range for adequacy during pregnancy. Women taking an iodine-containing-supplement (I-supp) had a significantly higher MUIC (155 g/L) (n = 171) compared to the combined MUIC (112.5 g/L) (n = 84) of those who had never (120 g/L) (n = 61) or were no longer taking an I-supp (90 g/L) (n = 23) (p = 0.017). Among women reporting I-supp use, the MUIC of those commencing the recommended 150 g/day prior to conception was significantly higher than those starting supplementation following pregnancy confirmation: 196 (98⁻315) g/L (n = 45) versus 137.5 (82.5⁻233.5) g/L (n = 124), p = 0.032. Despite recommendations for iodine supplementation pregnant Tasmanian women remain at risk of ID. Commencing an I-supp of 150 g/day prior to conception and continuing throughout pregnancy is required to ensure adequacy. Timely advice regarding the importance of adequate iodine nutrition, including supplementation is needed to reduce the risk of irreversible in utero neurocognitive damage to the foetus.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:iodine nutrition, iodine deficiency, iodine supplementation, pregnancy, gestation, public health, pre-conception
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and dietetics
Research Field:Nutrition and dietetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
UTAS Author:Hynes, KL (Dr Kristen Hynes)
UTAS Author:Otahal, P (Mr Petr Otahal)
UTAS Author:Oddy, WH (Professor Wendy Oddy)
UTAS Author:Burgess, JR (Professor John Burgess)
ID Code:130196
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-01-16
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:68 View Download Statistics

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