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Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar; Ribas-Fito, Nuria; Garcia-Esteban, Raquel; Rodriguez, Agueda; Soriano, Dolors; Guxens, Monica; Mendez, Michelle A.; & Sunyer, Jordi (2010). Iodine Sources and Iodine Levels in Pregnant Women from an Area without Known Iodine Deficiency. Clinical Endocrinology, 72(1), 81-86.


OBJECTIVE: An adequate iodine intake during pregnancy is essential for normal development of the foetus. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in a population of pregnant women should range between 150 and 249 microg/l. The aim of this study was to evaluate iodine status and to examine the main sources of iodine in pregnant women from an apparently iodine-sufficient area.
METHODS: Six hundred pregnant women in the third trimester completed a food frequency questionnaire, and iodine was measured in urine samples. Urinary iodine concentrations were described in the whole population and in subgroups according to their frequency of intake of milk, fish, eggs, bread and iodized salt, as iodine supplements.
RESULTS: The median UIC was 104 microg/l (n = 600), however, the median was higher among women who had a high milk intake (117 microg/l), used iodized salt (117 microg/l) or who were supplemented with iodine (141 microg/l). Women receiving iodine supplementation who also consumed more than one cup of milk per day had median UIC higher than 150 microg/l. In multivariate models, women with moderate and high milk intake had lower risk of having UIC below 150 microg/l [OR (95% CI): 0.42 (0.22-0.82) and 0.29 (0.15-0.55) respectively], after adjustment for potential confounders.
CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of WHO criteria, the iodine status of pregnant women was inadequate in this area. Milk was the most important dietary source of iodine, and iodine supplementation was also an important source of iodine, although not enough to reach the current recommendations.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Clinical Endocrinology


Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar
Ribas-Fito, Nuria
Garcia-Esteban, Raquel
Rodriguez, Agueda
Soriano, Dolors
Guxens, Monica
Mendez, Michelle A.
Sunyer, Jordi