Capdevila Bert R, Marsal Mora JR, Pujol Salud J, Anguera Farran R. Prevalence study of iodine deficiency in a 6-year-old school population. An Pediatr (Barc). 2010 May;72(5):331-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2009.12.023

INTRODUCTION: Iodine is a dietary element, a deficiency of which leads to complications grouped with the name Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). The intake of foods rich in iodine is the only route of iodine administration. Iodine is considered to deficient when its concentration is less than 100 microg/L in urine, thus increasing the possibility of IDD.

AIM: To determine the prevalence of iodine deficiency in 6-year-old school children in the region of Lleida.

METHODS: A randomised cross-sectional study of 6-year-old school children in the area of Lleida was selected. After the acceptance, a questionnaire had to be filled in and a urine sample was collected to determine the urinary iodine.

RESULTS: A total of 328 subjects were included (5 without urine sample), 46.8% boys, 54.27% in public schools, 17.2% immigrants and 40.95% had lunch at school. The majority (62.42%) ate fish twice or more a week, 60.98% used iodised salt and 90.65% drank milk daily. The iodine mean was 234.4 microg/l (SD=133.7). Only 9.29% (6.12-12.45%) had iodine deficiency which was associated to the type of school the children attended (private or public), immigrant origin, iodised salt, fish and milk nutrition.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of iodine deficiency in Lleida is lower than in previous publications, shown by the good nutrition parameters. The shortage of iodine is higher in immigrant boys, although better nutrition measures could be taken to improve their situation.

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