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Off topic: Iodine deficiency

Iodine deficiency in 30 percent of the global population – April 2012

Global Iodine Status in 2011 and Trends over the Past Decade
J. Nutr. April 1, 2012 vol. 142 no. 4 744-750
Maria Andersson maria.andersson at hest.ethz.ch. 4,5,*, Vallikkannu Karumbunathan4, and Michael B. Zimmermann4,5
4Human Nutrition Laboratory, Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; and
5International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Zurich, Switzerland

Salt iodization has been introduced in many countries to control iodine deficiency. Our aim was to assess global and regional iodine status as of 2011 and compare it to previous WHO estimates from 2003 and 2007. Using the network of national focal points of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders as well as a literature search, we compiled new national data on urinary iodine concentration (UIC) to add to the existing data in the WHO Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System Micronutrients Database. The most recent data on UIC, primarily national data in school-age children (SAC), were analyzed. The median UIC was used to classify national iodine status and the UIC distribution to estimate the number of individuals with low iodine intakes by severity categories.

Survey data on UIC cover 96.1% of the world’s population of SAC, and since 2007, new national data are available for 58 countries, including Canada, Pakistan, the UK, and the US. At the national level, there has been major progress: from 2003 to 2011,

  • the number of iodine-deficient countries decreased from 54 to 32 and the
  • number of countries with adequate iodine intake increased from 67 to 105.

However, globally, 29.8% (95% CI = 29.4, 30.1) of SAC (241 million) are estimated to have insufficient iodine intakes.
Sharp regional differences persist; southeast Asia has the largest number of SAC with low iodine intakes (76 million) and there has been little progress in Africa, where 39% (58 million) have inadequate iodine intakes. In summary, although iodine nutrition has been improving since 2003, global progress may be slowing. Intervention programs need to be extended to reach the nearly one-third of the global population that still has inadequate iodine intakes.

Map of deficiency - from the web 2012/


Iodine fortification: why, when, what, how, and who?

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care:
November 2011 - Volume 14 - Issue 6 - p 618–624
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834b2b30
Micronutrients: Edited by Henry Lukaski and Gil Hardy

Charlton, Karena; Skeaff, Sheilab

Purpose of review: To highlight current issues regarding the role of iodine fortification in correcting and preventing iodine deficiency. Universal salt iodization (USI) is recommended, wherein all salt is iodized; however, a more graduated approach may be warranted.

Recent findings: Iodine deficiency is widespread and has re-emerged in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK. As well as supplementation in groups such as pregnant and lactating women who have increased iodine requirements, public health strategies to improve iodine intakes include voluntary or mandatory fortification of the food supply. A key player in the process of fortification is the food industry, wherein misperceptions that the addition of iodized salt to foods alters taste and colour still persist and legislation in some countries that prohibits its addition to manufactured foods, can result in a reluctance to support USI.

Summary: Ameliorating iodine deficiency on a population level in countries with mild-to-moderate deficiency is warranted. Risk of both inadequate and excess iodine intakes requires regular monitoring to accompany fortification programmes as well as strategies to address subpopulations at risk. More sensitive indicators of recent iodine status are needed to rapidly assess the impact of fortification on improving the status.

in Australian Women: Pre- and Post-Iodine Fortification
Nutrients 2012, 4(9), 1317-1327; doi:10.3390/nu4091317
Karen Charlton1 karenc at uow.edu.au , Heather Yeatman1 , Catherine Lucas1 , Samantha Axford1 , Luke Gemming1 , Fiona Houweling1 , Alison Goodfellow2 and Gary Ma3
1 School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia
2 Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, NSW Health, Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia
3 Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Received: 28 June 2012; in revised form: 31 July 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012 / Published: 20 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iodine Supplementation)

A before-after review was undertaken to assess whether knowledge and practices related to iodine nutrition, supplementation and fortification has improved in Australian women since the introduction of mandatory iodine fortification in 2009. Surveys of pregnant (n = 139) and non-pregnant (n = 75) women in 2007–2008 are compared with surveys of pregnant (n = 147) and lactating women (n = 60) one to two years post-fortification in a regional area of New South Wales, Australia. A self-administered questionnaire was completed and dietary intake of iodine was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

A generally poor knowledge about the role and sources of iodine in the diet remained after fortification.
Post-fortification, iodine-containing supplements were being taken by 60% (up from 20% pre-fortification) and 45% of pregnant and lactating women, respectively.
Dairy foods were the highest contributors to dietary iodine intake (57% – 62%).
A low intake of fish and seafood resulted in this food group contributing only 3% – 8% of total intake.
A low level of public awareness regarding the role of iodine in health supports the need for public health strategies in addition to fortification, such as an accompanying consumer education campaign, increased uptake of supplementation, and on-going monitoring.

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Note: Magnesium = 5 mg, is about 1% of daily need

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
2033 Iodine Deficiency Map 1.JPG admin 30 Jan, 2013 02:53 56.73 Kb 10482
1615 Many not know of Iodine need during pregnancy - Sept 2012.pdf admin 21 Sep, 2012 00:53 489.70 Kb 1341
1256 Iodine deficiency.pdf PDF admin 20 Apr, 2012 15:35 279.00 Kb 2145
1255 Iodine Australia.pdf PDF Aust admin 20 Apr, 2012 15:35 220.48 Kb 2028
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