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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2012 Jun;26(2-3):134-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 May 8.

Iodine supplementation in pregnancy and its effect on child cognition.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Maternal hypothyroidism and hypothyroxenemia due to iodine deficiency have been shown to affect development of the newborn negatively. Maternal iodine supplementation may therefore improve cognitive performance of the offspring, even in areas of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency (ID). Several iodine supplementation studies have been performed in mildly ID pregnant women in Europe. These studies have shown that iodine supplementation increases maternal urinary iodine (UI) excretion and reduces thyroid volume, as well as prevents increases in infant thyroid volume and thyroglobuline. However, randomized controlled studies with long-term outcomes are lacking. Therefore, two trials were started in 2008 in areas of low iodine status; one in Bangalore, India (n=325), and another in Bangkok, Thailand (n=514). Pregnant women were recruited <14 weeks gestational age and randomized to either receive a daily dose of 200 μg I (as KI) or an identical placebo throughout pregnancy. Both trials are ongoing, and women are followed up during pregnancy and at delivery. UI, thyroid hormones, and thyroid size are measured. Birth outcomes are recorded, such as gestational age at delivery, height, weight, and APGAR scores, and cord blood and heel stick blood (<72 h) is collected from the child. Child development is assessed at 6 weeks of age using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), and at 12 and 24 months of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. The outcomes of these trials will contribute importantly to the evidence base for iodine supplementation of pregnant women living in areas of mild iodine deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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