Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with obstetric and neonatal adverse outcomes. Serum thyroglobulin (sTg) and thyroid volume (TV) are optional tools to urinary iodine concentration (UIC) for defining iodine status. This cross-sectional study aims to evaluate the iodine status of pregnant women living in iodine-adequate area by spot UIC and correlation with sTg, TV and thyroid function.
Two hundred and seventy-three pregnant women were evaluated at three trimesters. All had no previous thyroid disease, no iodine supplementation and negative thyroperoxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies. Thyroid function and sTg were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassays. TV was determined by ultrasonography; UIC was determined using a modified Sandell–Kolthoff method.
Median UIC was 146 µg/L, being 52% iodine deficient and only 4% excessive. TSH values were 1.50 ± 0.92, 1.50 ± 0.92 and 1.91 ± 0.96 mIU/L, respectively, in each trimester (P = 0.001). sTg did not change significantly during trimesters with median 11.2 ng/mL and only 3.3% had above 40 ng/mL. Mean TV was 9.3 ± 3.4 mL, which positively correlated with body mass index, but not with sTg. Only 4.5% presented with goitre.
When pregnant women were categorized as iodine deficient (UIC < 150 µg/L), adequate (≥150 and <250 µg/L) and excessive (≥250 µg/L), sTg, thyroid hormones and TV at each trimester showed no statistical differences.
Iodine deficiency was detected frequently in pregnant women living in iodine-adequate area. sTg concentration and TV did not correlate to UIC. Our observation also demonstrated that the Brazilian salt-iodization programme prevents deficiency, but does not maintain iodine status within adequate and recommended ranges for pregnant women.