Open Access Inadequate salt iodization and poor knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding iodine-deficiency disorders in an area of endemic goitre in south-eastern Nigeria

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Abstract:

Focus group discussions and interviewer-administered questionnaires assessed the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of rural dwellers relating to iodine-deficiency disorders. The iodine content of salt was measured at the household and retail levels, and the iodine nutritional status of school-aged children (6–12 years) was assessed by measuring urinary iodine concentrations. The analyses showed a high level of ignorance about the causes and consequences of iodine deficiency, iodine as a nutrient, and iodized salt and its purpose. In a goitre endemic area of south-eastern Nigeria, only 47% of the household samples and 48% of the retail salt samples were iodized to a level above 30 ppm, whereas 34% of the household samples and 19% of the retail samples had no iodine. These findings could be attributable to the methods of salt handling and storage in the area. Among children, 90% had moderate to severe iodine deficiency, 10% were mildly iodine deficient, and none had normal iodine levels according to urinary iodine excretion. The findings suggest a high level of iodine deficiency and the urgent need for information, education, and communication in the study area.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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