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Assessment of iodine nutrition in pregnant north Indian subjects in three trimesters

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      The cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the iodine status of pregnant women, using median urinary iodine concentration (MUI) as the measure of outcome, to document the impact of advancing gestation on the MUI in normal pregnancy.

      Materials and Methods:

      The present study assessed the MUI in casual urine samples from 50 pregnant subjects of each trimester and 50 age-matched non-pregnant controls.


      The median (range) of urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women was 304 (102-859) μg/L and only 2% of the subjects had prevalence of values under 150 μg/L (iodine insufficiency). With regard to the study cohort, median (range) UIC in the first, second, and third trimesters was 285 (102-457), 318 (102-805), and 304 (172-859) μg/L, respectively. Differences between the first, second, and third trimesters were not statistically significant. The MUI in the controls (305 μg/L) was not statistically different from the study cohort.


      The pregnant women had no iodine deficiency, rather had high median urinary iodine concentrations indicating more than adequate iodine intake. Larger community-based studies are required in iodine-sufficient populations, to establish gestation-appropriate reference ranges for UIC in pregnancy.

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      Most cited references 32

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      The regulation of thyroid function in pregnancy: pathways of endocrine adaptation from physiology to pathology.

       D Glinoer (1997)
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        High prevalence of undetected thyroid disorders in an iodine sufficient adult south Indian population.

        India is in the transition phase from iodine deficiency to iodine sufficiency, and this is expected to change the thyroid status of the population. The thyroid status and auto-immune status of adult Indian population in the postiodisation phase is largelyunknown, and this study was conducted to answer this question. A cross-sectional population survey was conducted in two phases among the residents of urban coastal area of central Kerala. The initial phase included a house-to-house survey of 3069 adults (>18 years of age), selected by cluster sampling method. From the surveyed population, 986 subjects underwent further physical examination and biochemical evaluation for thyroid function, thyroid autoimmunity status and iodine status. The total prevalence of goitre was 12.2% and median urine iodine excretion was 211.4 mcg/l (mean 220.3 +/- 99.5 mcg/l) indicating iodine sufficiency. Thyroid function abnormalities were present in 19.6% of subjects. Subclinical hypothyroidism was present in 9.4%. Among the population with normal thyroid function, 9.5% and 8.5% respectively had positive anti-TPO and anti-TG antibodies. Among those with thyroid dysfunction, 46.3% had positive anti-TPO and 26.8% were anti-TG positive. A significant proportion of this iodine-sufficient adult population had thyroid disorders. Further studies are required to characterise the reasons for this high prevalence. Iodine deficiency as well as thyroid dysfunction should both be the focus of public health strategies in susceptible populations.
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          Iodine nutrition in the United States. Trends and public health implications: iodine excretion data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys I and III (1971-1974 and 1988-1994)

          Iodine deficiency in a population causes increased prevalence of goiter and, more importantly, may increase the risk for intellectual deficiency in that population. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys [NHANES I (1971-1974) and (NHANES III (1988-1994)] measured urinary iodine (UI) concentrations. UI concentrations are an indicator of the adequacy of iodine intake for a population. The median UI concentrations in iodine-sufficient populations should be greater than 10 microg/dL, and no more than 20% of the population should have UI concentrations less than 5 microg/dL. Median UI concentrations from both NHANES I and NHANES III indicate adequate iodine intake for the overall U.S. population, but the median concentration decreased more than 50% between 1971-1974 (32.0+/-0.6 microg/dL) and 1988-1994 (14.5+/-0.3 microg/dL). Low UI concentrations (<5 microg/dL) were found in 11.7% of the 1988-1994 population, a 4.5-fold increase over the proportion in the 1971-1974 population. The percentage of people excreting low concentrations of iodine (UI, <5 microg/dL) increased in all age groups. In pregnant women, 6.7%, and in women of child-bearing age, 14.9% had UI concentrations below 5 microg/dL. The findings in 1988-1994, although not indicative of iodine deficiency in the overall U.S. population, define a trend that must be monitored.

            Author and article information

            Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
            Author notes
            Corresponding Author: Dr. Emmy Grewal, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. E-mail: emmygrewal@
            Indian J Endocrinol Metab
            Indian J Endocrinol Metab
            Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
            Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
            Mar-Apr 2013
            : 17
            : 2
            : 289-293
            Copyright: © Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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