Iodine deficiency during pregnancy: A national cross-sectional survey in Latvia

Ilze Konrade, Ieva Kalere, Ieva Strele, Marina Makrecka-Kuka, Anna Jekabsone, Elina Tetere, Vija Veisa, Didzis Gavars, Dace Rezeberga, Valdis Pīrāgs, Aivars Lejnieks, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Low iodine intake during pregnancy may cause thyroid dysfunction, which results in inadequate fetal brain development. In the absence of a universal salt iodization programme, we conducted a nationwide survey of iodine deficiency in pregnant women in Latvia. Design A countrywide twenty-cluster survey, with at least twenty women per cluster. Participants completed a questionnaire on dietary habits concerning iodine intake (n 739). Thyroid function (thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine and thyroperoxidase antibodies) was measured (n 550). Urinary iodine was measured using the ammonium persulfate method (n 696). Setting The survey was performed in all regions of Latvia during the spring and autumn seasons in 2013. Subjects Pregnant women (n 829). Results The median creatinine (Cr)-standardized urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was 80·8 (interquartile range (IQR) 46·1-130·6) Âg/g Cr or 69·4 (IQR 53·9-92·6) Âg/l during pregnancy, and 81 % of pregnant women had UIC levels below the WHO recommended range of 150-250 Âg/g Cr. The UIC was lowest during the first trimester of pregnancy, 56·0 (IQR 36·4-100·6) Âg/g Cr, reaching higher concentrations of 87·5 (IQR 46·4-141·7) Âg/g Cr and 86·9 (IQR 53·8-140·6) Âg/g Cr in the second and third trimesters, respectively. Women taking supplements containing ≥150 Âg iodine (6·8 % of respondents) had non-significantly higher UIC than did women without supplementation (96·2 v. 80·3 Âg/g Cr, respectively, P=NS). Thyroperoxidase antibody concentration did not correlate significantly with UIC: Spearman's ρ=-0·012, P=0·78. Conclusions The median UIC indicates iodine deficiency in pregnant women in Latvia. Iodine supplementation (150 Âg daily) and regular UIC monitoring should be suggested to overcome iodine deficiency and to reach the recommended levels without inducing autoimmune processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2990-2997
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2015


  • Iodine deficiency
  • Iodine supplementation
  • Pregnancy

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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