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

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January - March 2006, Volume 2, Issue 1
Endocrine Care

Simescu M, Dumitriu L, Sava M, Ciovernache D, Colda A, Balmes E, Ursu H, Bistriceanu M, Zosin I, Duncea I, Balasz J, Kun I, Dragatoiu G, Hazi G, Coamesu I, Harsan T, Stamoran L, Florescu E, Vitiuc M, Varciu M, Budura I, Fugaciu A, Hutanu T, Lepadatu D, Sulac H, Sirbu A

Urinary Iodine Levels in Schoolchildren and Pregnant Women After the Legislative Changes in the Salt Iodization

Acta Endo (Buc) 2006, 2 (1): 33-44
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2006.33

Endemic goiter occurred in different degrees throughout 2/3 of Romania, mainly in the Carpathian area. The prophylaxis of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) using salt iodization was introduced in 1956 with potassium iodate, KIO3, 15-25 mg/1kg salt, but only in 23 districts. In 2002 a new legislation introduced the mandatory use of the iodized salt in a higher concentration in households of all 41 districts and also in the baking industry. The study aims to evaluate the effects of iodine legislation changes upon the urinary iodine excretion (UIC) in schoolchildren (study group A) and pregnant women (study group B). Urine samples were collected from 3737 schoolchildren aged 6-14 years of 14 districts and from 1283 pregnant women of 11 districts in the years 2004-2005. In two areas - Bistrita Nasaud and Bucharest - the number of schoolchildren was larger, i.e. 465 and 1617 respectively. UIC was determined in spot urine samples by Sandell Kolthoff?s method. The results show in schoolchildren an increase of the median UIC in 9 out of 14 districts up to 90 ? 61.1 ?g/L (range 12.5-300 ?g/L). Six of these districts are in the Carpathian area. However, in pregnant women in 2004, UIC still showed low levels of 55 ? 48.78 ?g/L (range 12.5-280 ?g/L) in all 11 studied districts and in Bucharest, close to the UIC obtained in the year 2001. In conclusion, this study revealed an increase of median values of UIC in schoolchildren after universal salt iodization program. The persistence of iodine deficiency in pregnant women in the studied districts is an emergency problem that has to be solved as soon as possible. This fact involves the necessity of a large monitoring program in the next years, in all districts in urban and rural areas and in all known pockets of endemia.

Keywords: Iodized salt, iodine concentration, schoolchildren and pregnant women

Correspondence: Mihaela Simescu, ?C. I. Parhon? Institute of Endocrinology, 34-36 Aviatorilor, 011863, Bucharest, Romania, e-mail: