African Journal of
Biochemistry Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biochem. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0778
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 425

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of current iodine status of pregnant women in a suburban area of Imo State Nigeria, twelve years after universal salt iodization

Cosmas O. Ujowundu*, Agwu I. Ukoha, Comfort N. Agha, Ngwu Nwachukwu and Kalu O. Igwe
Biochemistry Department, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 December 2009
  •  Published: 31 January 2010


Three hundred and two pregnant women participated in this study. Our results showed that the range, mean and median urinary iodine excretion (UIE) were 28.1 to 218.1, 152.09 ± 41.65 and 163.1 µg/l, respectively. The range, mean and median TSH concentration were 0.7 - 5.9, 1.4 ± 0.7 and 1.3 µIU/ml, respectively. Our results showed that none of the women have severe iodine deficiency, 2% had moderate iodine deficiency, 12% had mild iodine deficiency, while 80% had optimal iodine nutrition and 6% have more than adequate. We observed a progressive and significant (P = 0.0009) decrease in the mean UIE from the 1st to the 3rd trimester. We observed also that 95% of the pregnant women had TSH concentration within the normal range. The TSH values between the three trimesters showed no significant difference (P = 1.20). The Urinary Iodine Excretion and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone concentration values suggest that iodine deficiency has been eliminated as a public health problem in Orlu. The progressive decrease in the median UIE from the 1st to the 3rd trimester should be addressed to meet the increased demand of iodine as a result of the pregnancy.


Key words: Urinary iodine, thyroid stimulating hormone, iodine deficiency, hyperthyroidism, pregnant  women, Orlu, Nigeria.