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Open Access Research article

Iodine nutritional status after the implementation of the new iodized salt concentration standard in Zhejiang Province, China

Yan Zou, Xiaoming Lou, Gangqiang Ding*, Zhe Mo, Wenming Zhu and Guangming Mao

Author Affiliations

Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3399 Binsheng Road, Hangzhou 310051, P.R. China

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:836  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-836

Published: 12 August 2014

Abstract

Background

Iodine deficiencies were prevalent in China until the introduction of universal salt iodization (USI) in 1995. In 2012, the standard salt iodine concentration was adjusted to 20-30 mg/kg. The success of USI for the control of iodine deficiency disorders requires monitoring its effect at a population level.

Methods

Two cross sectional surveys of a representative sample of children aged 8–10 years in Zhejiang Province were carried out in 2011 and 2013. Data on participants’ socio-demographic characteristics were collected from the children using a structured questionnaire. Spot urine samples were collected and delivered to local Center for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory for measuring urinary iodine concentration. In 2011, out of 420 selected children aged 8–10 years, 391 were recorded and provided urine samples. In 2013, out of 1560 selected children aged 8–10 years, 1556 were recorded and provided urine samples.

Results

The median urinary iodine concentration of subjects in the 2013 survey was 174.3 μg/L, significantly lower than that of 2011(p = 0.000). The median urinary iodine concentration of subjects living in urban and rural areas in the 2013 survey was 169.0 μg/L, and 186.1 μg/L respectively, significantly lower than that of 2011 only for subjects living in urban areas (p = 0.000). There were no significant differences for subjects living in rural areas in the survey in 2011 and in 2013 (p = 0.086).

Conclusions

At the time the new local iodization policy put forward, iodine nutrition was generally adequate in both urban and rural areas, suggesting that the new policy for adjusting the standard salt iodine concentration is effective. Our data also indicate that the reason people living in urban areas had a lower urinary iodine concentration than people in rural areas may be due to their preference for using non-iodized salt in the last 2 or 3 years. Maintaining USI at an appropriate level is an important part of preventing iodine deficiency disorders and should always be based on regular monitoring and comparison of urinary iodine concentration by province.

Keywords:
Urinary iodine concentration; Comparison; Probability proportional to size sampling; Children