UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Median Urinary Iodine Concentrations Are Indicative of Adequate Iodine Status among Women of Reproductive Age in Prey Veng, Cambodia Karakochuk, Crystal D.; Michaux, Kristina D.; Chai, Tze L.; Chan, Benny B.; Whitfield, Kyly C.; Barr, Susan I.; McLean, Judy; Talukder, Aminuzzaman; Hou, Kroeun; Ly, Sokhoing; Green, Tim J.


Iodine deficiency disorders are estimated to affect over 1.9 million people worldwide. Iodine deficiency is especially serious for women during pregnancy and lactation because of the negative consequences for both mother and infant. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) as a population-level indicator of iodine status among rural women farmers of reproductive age (18–45 years) in the province of Prey Veng, Cambodia. A total of 450 women provided a spot morning urine sample in 2012. Of those women, 93% (n = 420) were non-pregnant and 7% (n = 30) were pregnant at the time of collection. UIC was quantified using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction with modifications. The median UIC of non-pregnant (139 μg/L) and pregnant women (157 μg/L) were indicative of adequate iodine status using the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD epidemiological criteria for both groups (median UIC between 100–199 and 150–249 μg/L, respectively). We conclude that non-pregnant and pregnant women in rural Prey Veng, Cambodia had adequate iodine status based on single spot morning urine samples collected in 2012. More research is warranted to investigate iodine status among larger and more representative populations of women in Cambodia, especially in light of recent policy changes to the national program for universal salt iodization.

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