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Jee-Yeong Jeong 1 Article
Iodine nutritional status and awareness of iodine deficiency among adults, including pregnant women, in Tuguegarao, Philippines
Young Sik Choi, Kwang-Hyuk Seok, Jong Jin Lee, Gina Jieun Hong, Pablo M. Afidchao, Bu Kyung Kim, Jee-Yeong Jeong
Kosin Med J. 2018;33(1):64-74.   Published online January 21, 2018
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Iodine deficiency causes multiple health problems. Previously we reported that 96% of high school students in Tuguegarao, Philippines had adequate iodine levels. However, iodine deficiency-associated problems remain among adults in the Philippines. Therefore, we evaluated iodine nutritional status and goiter prevalence among adults, including pregnant women, in Tuguegarao, Philippines.


A total of 245 adults, including 31 pregnant women, provided samples for urinary iodine analysis, and all pregnant women completed a questionnaire about iodine deficiency.


The median urinary iodine level was 164.0 ± 138.4 g/L; 38.4% of the participants were iodine deficient, according to the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) criteria. No severe iodine deficiency was observed. Among the 31 pregnant women, 24 (77.5%) fell into the iodine deficient category defined by a stricter World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, in which iodine deficiency is considered when urinary iodine levels are below 150 g/L. Almost half (42%) of the pregnant women were unaware of the harmful effects of iodine deficiency on the human body and their fetus.


Although iodine nutritional status in the Philippines has improved, iodine deficiency still exists among adults, especially among pregnant women. Therefore, our study strongly suggests that a better strategy should be established to monitor iodine nutritional status among adults continually, and to focus on populations susceptible to iodine deficiency, including pregnant women and women of reproductive age, to achieve the total elimination of iodine deficiency.

KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal