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Monday, 28 November 2016
Adequate Iodine intake is important before conception and during pregnancy for optimal infant neurodevelopment. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of Iodine deficiency in the UK and Ireland.
It is possible that optimal Iodine intake may be impeded by a poor knowledge of Iodine nutrition. This study aimed to investigate I knowledge among women of childbearing age in the UK and Ireland and to determine whether a relationship exists between Iodine knowledge and dietary Iodine intake. Females (aged 18–45 years) were invited to complete an online questionnaire, which assessed knowledge of Iodine and estimated dietary Iodine intake using a FFQ.
A total of 520 females of childbearing age completed the study. Iodine knowledge was poor; only one-third (32 %) of the participants correctly identified pregnancy as the most important stage of the lifecycle for Iodine, and 41 % of participants could not correctly identify any health problem related to Iodine deficiency. The median daily I intake was estimated as 152 µg/d. Almost half (46 %) of the participants failed to meet dietary recommendations (140 µg/d) for Iodine.
A higher dietary Iodine intake was positively associated with greater Iodine knowledge (r 0·107; P=0·016). This study suggests that knowledge of Iodine nutrition is low among women of childbearing age, and those with a greater knowledge of Iodine nutrition had a higher dietary Iodine intake. Initiatives to educate women of childbearing age on the importance of Iodine nutrition should be considered as part of a larger public health strategy to address Iodine deficiency.