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

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April - June 2016, Volume 12, Issue 2
Endocrine Care

Ursu HI, Toader OD, Podia - Igna C, Delia CE, Firta AR, Tupea CC, Tudor LM, Gheorghiu ML, Suciu N

Iodine Status in Pregnant Women after a Decade of Universal Salt Iodization in Romania

Acta Endo (Buc) 2016, 12 (2): 161-167
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2016.161

Objective. To assess iodine status (median urinary iodine concentration) in 118 pregnant women during the third trimester from endemic or non-endemic areas, a decade after implementation of Universal Salt Iodization in Romania. Subjects and methods. One hundred and eighteen pregnant women in the third trimester were included in the study group (age range: 16 – 46 years, mean age: 28.78 years). Median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and body mass index (BMI) were evaluated. Data regarding region of provenance, smoking habits during pregnancy, education level, iodized salt intake, bread intake, iodine supplements, comorbidities (iron deficiency anemia) and birth weight were assessed. Morning urine was collected to measure median UIC. The study was approved by the Local Ethics Committee. Results. Median UIC in the study group was 206 mcg/L, reflecting iodine sufficiency during pregnancy. There is a statistically significant difference between pregnant women with and without iodine supplements from rural areas (281.5 versus 196.1 mcg/L, respectively, p=0.023). In the subgroup without iodine supplementation, there was a significant difference between overweight and obese subjects vs. normal weight subjects (232.5 versus 194 mcg/L, p=0.012). Only in the subgroup with a daily intake of less than 5 slices of bread (usually containing iodized salt) we found significant differences between those with and without iodine supplements (245.2 versus 128.3 mcg/L). Iron deficiency anemia was found in 29.66% and 19.49% were current smokers during pregnancy. Conclusions. Median UIC in the study group was 206 mcg/L, reflecting iodine sufficiency during pregnancy. The difference between the subgroup with iodine supplements and the subgroup without iodine supplements was not statistically significant, probably due to the excessive consumption of bread and other bakery products which is traditional in Romania.

Keywords: iodine deficiency, universal salt iodization, pregnant women, iodine supplementation

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