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Paper Title: A Comparative Analysis of the Relationship between the Concentration of Iodine in Household Salt and Iodine Deficiency among Pregnant Women in a Tertiary Institution in Southern Nigeria

Authors: Celestine Osita John, Justina Omoikhefe Alegbeleye, Ochuko Avwebo Otoide

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Introduction: Iodine is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and is mostly absorbed through the diet. Pregnant and lactating mothers, women of reproductive age and children under the age of two are the populations most vulnerable to iodine deficiency disorders. 

Material and Methods: This was a hospital-based comparative study that assessed the efficacy and coverage of the Universal Salt Iodization Program by measuring salt iodine concentration and urinary iodine concentrations in pregnant women and non-pregnant women of reproductive age by using structured questionnaires as well as testing urine and salt samples for iodine concentration. Data were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences version 25.0.

Results: In both arms of the study, the prevalence of iodine deficiency was 100%. None of the salt samples analyzed contained adequate iodine (15-40 ppm). The mean, median, and modal salt iodine level among pregnant and non-pregnant respondents was 0.48ppm (Range 0.044-0.052ppm).Mild iodine deficiency was observed in 57.1% of non-pregnant participants and 34.4% of pregnant participants. The median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women was 42.87ug/l, while it was 52.33ug/l in non-pregnant women. 

Conclusion: None of the salt analyzed contained adequate iodine levels; however, pregnant women who had the knowledge and consumed iodized salt had higher UICs. 

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