Background: Iodine deficiency is the main cause of endemic goitre. A total of 29.8% of the worlds school-age children insufficient iodine intake. A population is deemed iodine-sufficient when median iodine levels are over 100 μg/l; measured iodine deficiency serves as a diagnostic criterion for determining the extent to which goitre is endemic, and also as an indicator of the gradual eradication of iodine-deficiency disorders.
Patients, material, and methods: Transversal study. Population of 13 896 children, representative of the school-age population of the Central La Mancha Healthcare Region, Spain. A survey was carried out, including questions on dietary iodine intake. First morning urine samples were kept frozen until processing. Urine iodine levels were measured using the modified Benotti and Benotti method.
Aims: To measure the degree of iodine deficiency in this school-age population. To assess intake of iodised salt, sea fish, and goitrogenic foods.
Results: Urine iodine levels were measured in 1110 children. The median level was 184 μg/l. A total of 14.1% of subjects displayed iodine deficiency, with levels lower than 100 μg/l. Iodine deficiency levels were greater in boys than girls, and were closely linked to the consumption of certain foods. Iodine levels were higher amongst children consuming iodised salts and dairy products. Iodine levels and external iodine supply displayed a somewhat seasonal pattern; deficiency levels were lower and intake of salt and fish higher in November. A linear correlation was recorded with age; iodine deficiency levels dropped slightly but steadily with each additional year of age. Half the schoolchildren surveyed consumed iodised salt. A somewhat larger percentage ate fish, and a smaller percentage consumed goitrogenic foods.
Conclusion: This school-age population displayed adequate iodine intake. A positive correlation was noted between iodine levels and intake of iodine-rich foods. The foods most influencing iodine levels proved to be dairy products. Age- and sex-related differences were found for iodine deficiency.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology