Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
English | Nederlands

Iodine Deficiency: a cause of Hypotheroidsm in the Netherlands : A Pilot Study

(2018) Ivarson, D.M. (Dina)

Introduction: 2.7% of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from iodine deficiency, which can lead to hypothyroidism, goiter and impaired mental function. In the Netherlands, iodine sufficiency has been ensured through a national fortification program since 1968. However, the last years there has been discussion about the iodine status of the Dutch population.
Objective: To perform a pilot study to determine whether the prevalence of iodine deficiency is higher among (subclinical) hypothyroid ((S)H) subjects than euthyroid subjects and whether the current method is feasible for a larger study.
Method: 24 hour urine samples were collected from 10 (S)H subjects and 10 matched euthyroid controls. Individual iodine status was determined based on urinary iodine concentration, urinary iodine excretion and iodine/creatinine ratio. Method feasibility was evaluated by participation rate and rate of delivered urine samples after 2 weeks. Reliability of the urine samples was evaluated based on total urine creatinine/24 hours.
Results: Dependent of means of measure, 50-55% of the subjects in the study were found to be iodine deficient. No significant difference was seen between the two groups, and no correlation was found between TSH level and iodine deficiency. Participation rate among (S)H patients approached in Isala was 90.9%, and 83.3% in the control group. The percentage delivered urine samples within two weeks was 70% ((S)H) and 60% (control) respectively. Creatinine/24h was within the reference range for all urine samples.
Conclusion: Iodine deficiency is still present in the Dutch population, but thyroid function does not seem to be correlated to iodine status. However, a larger-scale study is needed to confirm these findings. The implemented method is feasible, but participants need to be motivated to deliver the urine samples within a reasonable time.

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