Iodine status of pregnant women in South Australia after mandatory iodine fortification of bread and the recommendation for iodine supplementation

Dominique Condo, Dao Huyhn, Amanda J. Anderson, Sheila Skeaff, Philip Ryan, Maria Makrides, Beverly S. Mühlhaüsler, Shao J. Zhou

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Mandatory iodine fortification of bread was introduced in 2009 in Australia in response to the reemergence of iodine deficiency. The aim of this study was to assess iodine intake, urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and their correlation in pregnant women (n = 783) recruited from South Australia 2 years following mandatory iodine fortification. Total iodine intake (food and supplements) and UIC were assessed at study entry (<20 weeks') and at 28 weeks' gestation. Mean (±SD) total iodine intake at study entry and 28 weeks' gestation was 307 ± 128 μg/day and 300 ± 127 μg/day, respectively. Overall, 85.9% of women met the estimated average intake (≥160 μg/day) for iodine in pregnancy, but only 44.5% met the estimated average intake from food alone. The main food sources of iodine were dairy foods and iodine-fortified bread. Median (interquartile range) UIC at study entry and 28 weeks' gestation was 189 μg/L and 172 μg/L, respectively. At study entry, median UIC was higher in women taking supplements containing iodine ≥150 μg/day compared with those containing iodine <150 μg/day (221 μg/L vs. 163 μg/L, p =.003) and those not taking supplements containing iodine (221 μg/L vs. 159 μg/L, p <.001). At 28 weeks' gestation, the median UIC for the groups was 187, 152 and 141 μg/L, respectively (each of the two comparisons yielded p <.001). Total iodine intake (food and supplements) from all women was positively, though weakly, correlated with UIC (r =.23, p <.001). In conclusion, pregnant women in South Australia are iodine sufficient postmandatory iodine fortification of bread. However, without iodine supplementation, it may be difficult to achieve a UIC >150 μg/L.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12410
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Oct 2017


  • UIC
  • iodine fortification
  • iodine status
  • pregnancy
  • supplements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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