Assessment of Population Iodine Status

  • Zheng Feei MaEmail author
  • Sheila A. Skeaff


Iodine deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies, affecting 30 % of the world’s population. Iodine status in a population is usually assessed by urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in spot urine samples; UIC is associated with large inter- and intra-individual variation. Other biomarkers including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) can be used to assess iodine status, however, the normal reference ranges are wide, making it difficult to use these to detect mild iodine deficiency. Another thyroid-specific protein, thyroglobulin (Tg), is considered to be more sensitive to improvements of iodine status in mildly iodine deficient populations but validated cut-offs for adults are lacking. Dietary assessment methods often underestimate iodine intake because of the difficulty in accurately quantifying the contribution of iodized salt to total iodine intake. Future research should focus on the development and validation of more accurate and reliable biomarkers, particularly for individuals.


Iodine status Iodine deficiency Urinary iodine concentration Thyroid-stimulating hormone Thyroid hormones Thyroglobulin 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human NutritionUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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