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Iodine status of Tasmanians following voluntary fortification of bread with iodine


Seal, JA and Doyle, Z and Burgess, John and Taylor, R and Cameron, AR, Iodine status of Tasmanians following voluntary fortification of bread with iodine, Medical Journal of Australia, 186, (2) pp. 69-71. ISSN 0025-729X (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00803.x


OBJECTIVE: To describe changes in the iodine status of Tasmanians following voluntary fortification of bread with iodine in October 2001.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Post-intervention, cross-sectional urinary iodine surveys of Tasmanian schoolchildren aged 8-11 years were used to assess population iodine status. Participants were selected using a one-stage cluster sampling method. The sampling frame comprised classes containing fourth-grade children from all Tasmanian government, Catholic and independent schools. Results were compared with pre-intervention survey results.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and percentage of UIC < 50 microg/L ascertained from spot urine samples.

RESULTS: Median UIC was 75 microg/L in 1998, 72 microg/L in 2000, 105 microg/L in 2003, 109 microg/L in 2004 and 105 microg/L in 2005. Median UIC in post-intervention years (2003-2005) was significantly higher than in pre-intervention years. The percentage of UIC results < 50 microg/L was 16.9% in 1998, 18.7% in 2000, 10.1% in 2003, 10.0% in 2004 and 10.5% in 2005.

CONCLUSION: Despite methodological differences between the pre- and post-intervention surveys, switching to iodised salt in bread appears to have resulted in a significant improvement in iodine status in Tasmania. Given iodine deficiency has been identified in other parts of Australia and in New Zealand, mandatory iodine fortification of the food supply in both countries is worthy of consideration. As voluntary fortification relies on industry goodwill, mandating fortification could be expected to enhance population reach and give a greater guarantee of sustainability in Tasmania.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Endocrinology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Burgess, John (Professor John Burgess)
ID Code:96144
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-10-21
Last Modified:2014-10-21

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