European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 683–688 | Cite as

Iodine status in Korean preschool children as determined by urinary iodine excretion

  • Jeehhun Lee
  • Jeong Hyun Kim
  • Soo-Youn Lee
  • Jun Hwa LeeEmail author
Original Contribution



Iodine is a trace element of thyroid hormones. Excessive or insufficient iodine intake is associated with various thyroid diseases. Urinary iodine (UI) is a sensitive indicator and a recommended barometer of population iodine intake. In Korea, there has been no available data regarding iodine intake in preschool children. We investigated the iodine intake status of Korean preschool children through examination of their UI.


This cross-sectional study was performed in 611 healthy preschool children (302 from Seoul and 309 from Masan), aged from 2 to 7 in 2010. UI concentration was measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.


The median UI concentration was 438.8 μg/L. Insufficient iodine intakes (<100 μg/L) were seen in 24 children (3.9 %), and excessive iodine ingestion (>300 μg/L) was found in 406 children (66.4 %). There were no significant differences in UI between different sexes and ages. Additionally, the median UI concentration was higher in children from Seoul (512.2 μg/L) than that in children from Masan (362.4 μg/L, P < 0.001).


About two-thirds of Korean preschool children were in the state of excessive iodine intake, and 3.9 % of children showed insufficient iodine intake. Preventive measures and follow-up for iodine intake in preschool children are needed.


Urine Iodine Preschool Korea Mass spectrometry 



Urinary iodine


World Health Organization


Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry


Center for disease control


Iodine deficiency disorder



The authors wish to thank the participating preschool children and their parents, in addition to the chiefs and teachers of many kindergarten classes, for providing data. This study was supported by Samsung Biomedical Research Institute Grant No. SBRI C-B0-315-1.


  1. 1.
    Zimmermann MB (2009) Iodine deficiency. Endocr Rev 30:376–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Laurberg P, Bulow Pedersen I, Knudsen N, Ovesen L, Andersen S (2001) Environmental iodine intake affects the type of nonmalignant thyroid disease. Thyroid 11:457–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Delange F, de Benoist B, Pretell E, Dunn JT (2001) Iodine deficiency in the world: where do we stand at the turn of the century? Thyroid 11:437–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Andersson M, Takkouche B, Egli I, Allen HE, de Benoist B (2005) Current global iodine status and progress over the last decade towards the elimination of iodine deficiency. Bull World Health Organ 83:518–525Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pearce EN, Andersson M, Zimmermann M (2013) Global iodine nutrition—Where do we stand in 2013? Thyroid [Epub ahead of print]Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wong EM, Sullivan KM, Perrine CG, Rogers LM, Pena-Rosas JP (2011) Comparison of median urinary iodine concentration as an indicator of iodine status among pregnant women, school-age children, and nonpregnant women. Food Nutr Bull 32:206–212Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vandevijvere S, Lin Y, Moreno-Reyes R, Huybrechts I (2012) Simulation of total dietary iodine intake in Flemish preschool children. Br J Nutr 108:527–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carvalho AL, Meirelles CJ, Oliveira LA, Costa TM, Navarro AM (2012) Excessive iodine intake in schoolchildren. Eur J Nutr 51:557–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) Second national report on biochemical indicators of diet and nutrition in the U.S. population.
  10. 10.
    World Health Organization. Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination: a guide for programme managers, 3rd edn.
  11. 11.
    Lee JH, Ji OJ, Song MJ, Park HD, Kim HK, Kim SW et al (2010) Determination of urinary iodine concentration by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry in thyroid cancer patients on low-iodine diet. Korean J Lab Med 30:351–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Soriguer F, Gutierrez-Repiso C, Gonzalez-Romero S, Olveira G, Garriga MJ, Velasco I et al (2011) Iodine concentration in cow’s milk and its relation with urinary iodine concentrations in the population. Clin Nutr 30:44–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Saggiorato E, Arecco F, Mussa A, Sacerdote C, Rossetto R, Origlia C et al (2006) Goiter prevalence and urinary iodine status in urban and rural/mountain areas of Piedmont region. J Endocrinol Invest 29:67–73Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Duarte GC, Tomimori EK, de Camargo RY, Catarino RM, Ferreira JE, Knobel M et al (2009) Excessive iodine intake and ultrasonographic thyroid abnormalities in schoolchildren. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 22:327–334Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fountoulakis S, Philippou G, Tsatsoulis A (2007) The role of iodine in the evolution of thyroid disease in Greece: from endemic goiter to thyroid autoimmunity. Hormones (Athens) 6:25–35Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li M, Liu DR, Qu CY, Zhang PY, Qian QD, Zhang CD et al (1987) Endemic goitre in central China caused by excessive iodine intake. Lancet 2:257–259Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Suzuki H, Higuchi T, Sawa K, Ohtaki S, Horiuchi Y (1965) “Endemic coast goitre” in Hokkaido, Japan. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 50:161–176Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zimmermann MB, Ito Y, Hess SY, Fujieda K, Molinari L (2005) High thyroid volume in children with excess dietary iodine intakes. Am J Clin Nutr 81:840–844Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kim JY, Moon SJ, Kim KR, Sohn CY, Oh JJ (1998) Dietary iodine intake and urinary iodine excretion in normal Korean adults. Yonsei Med J 39:355–362Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chung HR, Shin CH, Yang SW, Choi CW, Kim BI (2009) Subclinical hypothyroidism in Korean preterm infants associated with high levels of iodine in breast milk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 94:4444–4447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Choi J, Kim HS, Hong DJ, Lim H, Kim JH (2012) Urinary iodine and sodium status of urban Korean subjects: a pilot study. Clin Biochem 45:596–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fuse Y, Saito N, Tsuchiya T, Shishiba Y, Irie M (2007) Smaller thyroid gland volume with high urinary iodine excretion in Japanese schoolchildren: normative reference values in an iodine-sufficient area and comparison with the WHO/ICCIDD reference. Thyroid 17:145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Henjum S, Barikmo I, Gjerlaug AK, Mohamed-Lehabib A, Oshaug A, Strand TA et al (2010) Endemic goitre and excessive iodine in urine and drinking water among Saharawi refugee children. Public Health Nutr 13:1472–1477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kapil U (2010) Excess iodine nutrition in Delhi. Indian Pediatr 47:894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Seal AJ, Creeke PI, Gnat D, Abdalla F, Mirghani Z (2006) Excess dietary iodine intake in long-term African refugees. Public Health Nutr 9:35–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hetzel BS (1983) Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) and their eradication. Lancet 2:1126–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD (2007) Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination, 3rd edn. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hess SY, Zimmermann MB, Staubli-Asobayire F, Tebi A, Hurrell RF (1999) An evaluation of salt intake and iodine nutrition in a rural and urban area of the Cote d’Ivoire. Eur J Clin Nutr 53:680–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeehhun Lee
    • 1
  • Jeong Hyun Kim
    • 2
  • Soo-Youn Lee
    • 3
  • Jun Hwa Lee
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Samsung Changwon HospitalSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineChangwonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Changwon HospitalSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineChangwonRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations