Vol 56, No 1 (2005)
Review paper
Published online: 2006-03-22

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Iodine deficiency in pregnancy - a continuing public health problem

Zbigniew Szybiński
Endokrynol Pol 2005;56(1):65-71.


Iodine prophylaxis in Poland started in 1997 and is based on mandatory iodzation of household salt with 20-40 mg KI/ 1 kg, supplementation of bottle fed infants with iodized formulas with 10,0 µg KI/100 ml, and a voluntary supplementation of pregnant and breast feeding women with additional 100-150 µg of iodine/day. Last evaluation of efficacy of the iodine prophylaxis performed in 2003 by WHO and International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders allocated Poland within the group of the European countries with sufficient iodine supplementation on the population level. However according to data of the Institute of Mather and Chield in Poland, around 50% of pregnant women only is additionally supplemented with iodine. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy even as a moderate iodine deficiency, creates a risk of mental retardation, perinatal complication like low and very low births weigt of neonates with increased perinatal mortality rate and late consequences in adult life: metabolic syndrom and type 2 diabetes. Another limitation of the actual model of iodine prophylaxis in Poland, it is too high consumption of natrum chloride (over 5,0 g of household salt/day/capita). It is around 50% over WHO recommendation. Intensive preventive program against hypertension, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis and some neoplasmatic diseases includes limitation of natrum chloride consumption - as one of the risk factors. Therefore new scope of the National Programme for Elimination of Iodine Deficiency will include: a special prorgramme for the iodization of animal food according to european standard, increased rate of pregnant women additionally supplemented with iodine, strengthening public awarness on necessary increase of milk consumption especially in pregnancy and in children and continouse monitoring system of biologic effects and technologic quality of the model of iodine prophylaxis.

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