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Public Health Nutr. 1999 Jun;2(2):173-8.

Randomized clinical trial comparing different iodine interventions in school children.

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Jiangsu Provincial Center for Public Health and Diseases Control, Nanjing, China.



The purpose of this trial was to compare three different iodine interventions.


School children aged 8-10 years were randomized into one of three groups: group A was provided with iodized salt by researchers with an iodine concentration of 25 ppm; group B purchased iodized salt from the market; and group C was similar to group B with the exception that they were given iodized oil capsules containing 400 mg iodine at the beginning of the study. Salt iodine content was measured bimonthly for 18 months and indicators of iodine deficiency were measured at baseline and 6, 9, 12 and 18 months after randomization.


The prevalence of abnormal thyroid volumes, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) body surface area reference >97th percentile, was 18% at baseline and declined to less than 5% by 12 months in groups A and C, and to 9% after 18 months in group B. Results for goitre by palpation were similar. The median urinary iodine was 94 microg l(-1) at baseline and increased in all groups to > 200 microg l(-1) at the 6-month follow-up.


In this population of school children with initially a low to moderate level of iodine deficiency, the group receiving salt with 25 ppm (group A) was not iodine deficient on all indicators after 18 months of study. When the iodine content of the salt varied, such as in group B, by 18 months thyroid sizes had not yet achieved normal status.

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