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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2014, Article ID 878926, 8 pages
Research Article

Subclinical Iodine Deficiency among Pregnant Women in Haramaya District, Eastern Ethiopia: A Community-Based Study

1College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 235, Harar, Ethiopia
2Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 26751/1000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Received 12 April 2014; Accepted 25 June 2014; Published 17 July 2014

Academic Editor: C. S. Johnston

Copyright © 2014 Haji Kedir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy is a worldwide problem. This study aimed to assess prevalence and predictors of subclinical iodine deficiency among pregnant women in Haramaya district, eastern Ethiopia. Methods. A cross-sectional, community-based study was conducted on 435 pregnant women existing in ten randomly selected rural kebeles (kebele is the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia). Data on the study subjects’ background characteristics, dietary habits, and gynecological/obstetric histories were collected via a structured questionnaire. UIC of <150 μg/L defined subclinical iodine deficiency. Data were analyzed by Stata 11. A multivariable logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of subclinical iodine deficiency. Results. The median urinary iodine concentration (MUIC) was 58.1 μg/L and 82.8% of the women who had subclinical iodine deficiency. The risk of subclinical iodine deficiency was reduced by the use of iodized salt (AOR = 0.13) and by intake of milk twice a month or more (AOR = 0.50), but it was increased by maternal illiteracy (AOR = 3.52). Conclusion. Iodine nutritional status of the pregnant women was poor. This shows that women and their children are exposed to iodine deficiency and its adverse effects. Thus, they need urgent supplementation with iodine and improved access to and intake of iodized salt and milk during pregnancy.