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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):438-44.

Child malnutrition and mortality among families not utilizing adequately iodized salt in Indonesia.

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Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Salt iodization is the main strategy for reducing iodine deficiency disorders worldwide. Characteristics of families not using iodized salt need to be known to expand coverage.


The objective was to determine whether families who do not use iodized salt have a higher prevalence of child malnutrition and mortality and to identify factors associated with not using iodized salt.


Use of adequately iodized salt (>or =30 ppm), measured by rapid test kits, was assessed between January 1999 and September 2003 in 145 522 and 445 546 families in urban slums and rural areas, respectively, in Indonesia.


Adequately iodized salt was used by 66.6% and 67.2% of families from urban slums and rural areas, respectively. Among families who used adequately iodized salt, mortality in neonates, infants, and children aged <5 y was 3.3% compared with 4.2%, 5.5% compared with 7.1%, and 6.9% compared with 9.1%, respectively (P < 0.0001 for all), in urban slums; among families who did not use adequately iodized salt, the respective values were 4.2% compared with 6.3%, 7.1% compared with 11.2%, and 8.5% compared with 13.3% (P < 0.0001 for all) in rural areas. Families not using adequately iodized salt were more likely to have children who were stunted, underweight, and wasted. In multivariate analyses that controlled for potential confounders, low maternal education was the strongest factor associated with not using adequately iodized salt.


In Indonesia, nonuse of adequately iodized salt is associated with a higher prevalence of child malnutrition and mortality in neonates, infants, and children aged <5 y. Stronger efforts are needed to expand salt iodization in Indonesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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