Iodine deficiency identified in the Riverina.

Helen Moriarty, Leanne Uren, Geoff McKenzie

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) cause physical and neurological health deficits at all life stages. Australia was thought to be iodine replete until recent studies focusing on large, coastal communities reported mild to moderate iodine deficiencies. The paucity of published data for rural, inland areas prompted this study in the Riverina area, NSW.A cross sectional study was undertaken with 173 volunteers who provided an early morning mid-stream urine sample and who completed a questionnaire on demographic, dietary, medical and lifestyle matters. Urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) were determined using a microplate assay based upon the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction. Statistical analysis was conducted using non-parametric methods.The median UIC for the group was 79µg/L with 71.1% of the population showing a value of less than 100µg/L and 18.5% of subjects less than 50µg/L. Based on the WHO criterion for an iodine-replete population of100-200µg/L, there results are consistent with a mild iodine deficiency. Significantly more females were moderately to severely deficient compared to males (23.2% versus 6.3% respectively, χ²=7.96, p=0.0187). 10 of 16 towns had median a UIC under 100µg/L with considerable variation of iodine values between them. Griffith (n=16) bordered on moderate deficiency with a median UIC of 50µg/L. The age group 50-59 years had a median UIC of 67μg/L. The use of iodised salt did not significantly increase the median UIC (81μg/L) compared to non-iodised salt (71μg/L) (p=0.1907), however the regular use of iodine-containing vitamin supplements was associated with normal UIC levels (111μg/L) (p=0.0011).A mild iodine deficiency was identified in the Riverina community. This work is consistent with other studies done in Australia and supports the need for a national correction strategy to prevent the emergence of IDD. Currently salt iodisation appears to be ineffective as a tool for iodine supplementation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical History Symposium and Witness Seminar
Subtitle of host publicationMedicine and society - past, present and future.
EditorsPaul Richards
Place of PublicationKings Meadow, Australia
PublisherMyola House of Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine (ANZSHM) Symposium - South Launceston, Australia, Australia
Duration: 06 Jul 200609 Jul 2006


SeminarAustralian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine (ANZSHM) Symposium


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