Iodine status and its determinants in subpopulation of pregnant women in rural Central India

Surekha A. Tayade, Shakuntala Chhabra


Background: There is an increased demand for iodine and thyroid hormones, in pregnancy starting from the early weeks of pregnancy suggesting that there may be a need for additional supplements of iodine in high risk population to prevent iodine deficiency and its associated disorders. Hence this study was undertaken to determine the iodine status and its determinants in a subpopulation of pregnant women from a rural area of Central India.

Methods: A hospital based, cross-sectional, observational study was carried out among pregnant women seeking antenatal care at Kasturba Hospital of MGIMS, Sewagram, a rural tertiary care institute in central India. Information was collected about demographic variables, use of iodized salt, iodine rich food and goitrogens as part of diet and other determinants. Spot urine samples were obtained, and assessment of urine iodine concentration was done by using Sandell-Kolthoff reaction.

Results: Among 250 pregnant women of first trimester, iodine deficiency (ID) was present in 11.8 %, of which 59.25% had mild deficiency, 33.33% moderate deficiency and 7.4% severe deficiency. More women with iodine deficiency were of higher age, had less formal education and belonged to lower middle and lower economic class. Higher number of women with iodine deficiency had family history of thyroid disorders compared to iodine sufficient (18.51% versus 5.58%), more iodine deficient commonly had goitrogens (cabbage, cauliflower, radish, sweet potato, soya etc) as part of their meals (77.77% versus 68.60%), lesser women with ID ate iodine rich food (fish, milk yoghurt, bread) (18.51% versus 68.60%) and fewer of them used iodized salt during food preparation (25.92% versus 69.95%) compared to iodine sufficient, with a significant difference.

Conclusions: Iodine deficiency is prevalent in pregnant women in this geographic region of central India. Age, low socioeconomic status, lack of education, family history, low intake of iodized salt and iodine rich food and more consumption of goitrogenic food as part of diet are risk factors. Appropriate health education, promoting use of iodized salt, quality assurance of universal salt iodization by household survey and screening in high risk group is suggested.


Iodine deficiency, Iodine deficiency determinants, Iodine status, Pregnant women

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