Mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency in a sample of pregnant women and salt iodine concentration from Zhejiang province, China

Zengli Yu, Canjie Zheng, Wangfeng Zheng, Zhongxiao Wan, Yongjun Bu, Guofu Zhang, Shibin Ding, Erhui Wang, Desheng Zhai, Zheng Feei Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2011, Zhejiang province has eliminated iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in its populations. Following this achievement, a new revised iodine concentration in iodised salt was implemented in Zhejiang in 2012. However, the re-emergence of iodine deficiency has been reported in pregnant women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess household salt iodine concentration and iodine status of pregnant women in Zhejiang province, China. We conducted a cross-sectional study between April 2018 and August 2018 in Quzhou, Zhejiang province. Pregnant women aged ≥ 18 years who did not have a history of thyroid disease were recruited into the study. They were asked to complete socio-demographic questionnaires including a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). In addition, a spot urine sample and a household table salt sample were also provided by each participant. A total of 625 pregnant women agreed to participate. The overall median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was 130 µg/L, indicating mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency in pregnant women. The coverage of iodised salt was 85.2%, and of these, the rate of adequately iodised salt was 98.1%. In conclusion, our results confirmed the re-emergence of iodine deficiency in pregnant women as reported by other studies conducted in Zhejiang province. Therefore, urgent public health actions are needed to improve iodine status of pregnant women in order to prevent the adverse consequences of IDD on the neurodevelopment of foetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3811-3818
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Iodine
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Iodised salt
  • Pregnant women
  • Thyroid

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