Inadequate Iodine Intake in Population Groups Defined by Age, Life Stage and Vegetarian Dietary Practice in a Norwegian Convenience Sample

Nutrients. 2018 Feb 17;10(2):230. doi: 10.3390/nu10020230.


Inadequate iodine intake has been identified in populations considered iodine replete for decades. The objective of the current study is to evaluate urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and the probability of adequate iodine intake in subgroups of the Norwegian population defined by age, life stage and vegetarian dietary practice. In a cross-sectional survey, we assessed the probability of adequate iodine intake by two 24-h food diaries and UIC from two fasting morning spot urine samples in 276 participants. The participants included children (n = 47), adolescents (n = 46), adults (n = 71), the elderly (n = 23), pregnant women (n = 45), ovo-lacto vegetarians (n = 25), and vegans (n = 19). In all participants combined, the median (95% CI) UIC was 101 (90, 110) µg/L, median (25th, 75th percentile) calculated iodine intake was 112 (77, 175) µg/day and median (25th, 75th percentile) estimated usual iodine intake was 101 (75, 150) µg/day. According to WHOs criteria for evaluation of median UIC, iodine intake was inadequate in the elderly, pregnant women, vegans and non-pregnant women of childbearing age. Children had the highest (82%) and vegans the lowest (14%) probability of adequate iodine intake according to reported food and supplement intakes. This study confirms the need for monitoring iodine intake and status in nationally representative study samples in Norway.

Keywords: adolescents; children; elderly; iodine status; iodine-supplement use; pregnant; probability of adequate iodine intake; urinary iodine concentration; vegans; vegetarians.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet, Vegan
  • Diet, Vegetarian* / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine / administration & dosage
  • Iodine / deficiency*
  • Iodine / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinalysis
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Iodine