URINARY IODINE LEVELS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN ILORIN, NIGERIA
Background: Iodine deficiency is one of the commonest micronutrient deficiencies. Globally, it is the commonest cause of preventable mental retardation and also associated with impaired physical growth. The current iodine nutrition of school children in Ilorin, North-Central Nigeria is not known.
Objective: The study aimed to determine the urinary iodine levelsv(UIL) of school children in Ilorin and explored the relationship with socio-demographic variables.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among primary schools children in Ilorin, Nigeria. We recruited school children aged 6-12 years through a multi-staged sampling method. Relevant data including socio-demograhic variables were obtained with a pretested study proforma. The recruited school children had urinary iodine determined using the Sandell-Kolthoff method. Data analysis was with Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0.
Results: The median with interquartile range (IQR) of urinary iodine level was 117.2 (99.6-148.6) µg/L. Of the 480 recruited children, 336 (70.0%) had normal urinary iodine levels while 144 (25%) had mild iodine deficiencyand two (0.4%) had excess urinary iodine levels. Pupils with iodine deficiency was higher among public schoolsthan those in private schools (33.3% vs 23.6%, χ2= 150.149, p< 0.022). The median UIL of the age-group 6-9 years was higher than the 10-12year age group (p=0.026). However, the median UIL values were comparable across gender, socioeconomic strata and mother’s educational level.
Conclusions: This study showed that a quarter of the children still has mild iodine deficiency despite salt iodisation policy adopted by the country. Also, the iodine levels were not influenced by socio-demographics.
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