No increase in renal iodine excretion during pregnancy: a telling comparison between pregnant women and their spouses
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OBJECTIVE: Adequate dietary iodine intake is necessary for normal thyroid gland function at all times, and most particularly during pregnancy. Increased iodine loss is cited, among other factors, as responsible for the increased iodine demand in this period. Our aim was to compare renal iodine excretion between women during all three pregnancy trimesters with that of their spouses and thereby to estimate the iodine intake in an a large sample of pregnant women in urban areas in Greece. DESIGN: Four hundred twenty-four healthy pregnant women were included prospectively (residents of Athens n=218, residents of Patras n=206). The spouses of 177 of these women following the same diet were also studied. Determinations included serum FT4, TSH and aTPO and urinary iodine excretion (UIE). RESULTS: No difference was found either in median UIE throughout pregnancy or between the UIE of the pregnant women and their spouses during the trimesters. Throughout pregnancy, mild iodine deficiency was noted and was classified as mild in 60%, moderate in 30% and severe in 10% of the women studied. Users of iodized salt had significantly higher median UIE compared with non-users. Serum FT4 levels decreased and TSH increased as pregnancy progressed. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that renal iodine excretion is not increased during pregnancy. This finding needs to be confirmed by further investigation in other populations with different iodine intakes. Thus, increased iodine requirements in pregnancy are possibly due to extra-renal causes. The population of pregnant women in Greek urban areas is mildly-and often moderately and severely-iodopenic and needs to be treated accordingly.
Key wordsIodine Iodine deficiency Pregnancy Thyroid Urinary iodine excretion
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