The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in ISI Thomson Master Journal List

January - March 2014, Volume 10, Issue 1
General Endocrinology

Ursu HI, Podia-Igna C., Delia C.E., Toma G.M., Goran D., Galoiu S., Niculescu D.A., Giurgiu D., Gheorghiu M.L. , Anca IA

Iodine Status after a Decade of Universal Salt Iodization in Romania: A Bicentric Study in Urban Areas

Acta Endo (Buc) 2014, 10 (1): 9-20
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2014.9

Objective. To assess in a bicentric study the current iodine status of schoolchildren, ten years after implementation of the universal salt iodization (USI) in Romania. Subjects and methods. 102 children from 2 towns, aged between 6 and 11 years, were included in the study group: 66 children from Sibiu, a previously endemic area for iodine deficiency disorders and 36 children from Bucharest, a previously borderline iodine intake area. Body mass index (BMI), total body surface area (BSA), median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and prevalence of goiter were evaluated. Thyroid volume was measured by ultrasonography. The study was approved by the Local Ethics Committee. An informed consent from the parents was obtained. Results. From the 102 schoolchildren in the study group, 59 were girls and 43 were boys. Median UIC in the total number of samples was 175.2 mcg/L, reflecting a sufficient iodine intake, with statistically significant differences between the two urban regions. The median UIC was 187.35 mcg/L in the Sibiu subgroup and 160.2 mcg/L in the Bucharest subgroup (p < 0.001). The total percentage of goiter in the studied subjects was 5.88%. Percentage of goiter, determined by adjusting ultrasound thyroid volume to sex and BSA, was 1.51% in Sibiu and 13.88% in Bucharest, a statistically significant difference (p = 0.011). None of the subjects showed ultrasonographic pattern suggestive of Hashimoto thyroiditis or macronodules. There was no statistically significant difference between the percentages of overweight or obesity in the two subgroups. Conclusions. Ten years after implementation of USI in Romania, a bicentric study suggests that our country is iodine sufficient in urban areas. In order to prevent recurrence of mild iodine deficiency in schoolchildren, a persistent surveillance, use of sustainable measures and public awareness are required. Recurrence of mild iodine deficiency should be avoided, because even mild iodine deficiency impairs cognition in children.

Keywords: iodine deficiency, universal salt iodization, schoolchildren, goiter.

Correspondence: Horea Ioan Ursu MD, “C. I. Parhon” Institute of Endocrinology, Thyroid Section, 34-36 Aviatorilor blvd., Bucharest, 011863, Romania, E-mail: