Introduction Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) during pregnancy may impair the
neurological development of the fetus. The aim of this study is to determine
the iodine status among pregnant women (PW) in Sarawak after introduction
of mandatory universal salt iodisation (USI) for seven years.
Methods A total of 508 first trimester PW attending government Maternal and Child
Health Care clinics in all 11 divisions in Sarawak between 1st April and 15th
June 2015 were recruited. Urine samples were obtained and analysed for
urinary iodine concentration (UIC) using the modified Sandell-Kolthoff
reaction method. For pregnant women, an adequate iodine intake was defined
as a median UIC between 150-249 µg/L according to the
WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD’s criterion. For further analyses, the 11 divisions
were then combined into 3 regions, namely Northern (Miri, Bintulu,
Limbang), Central (Kapit, Mukah, Sibu, Sarikei, Betong) and Southern (Kota
Samarahan, Kuching, Sri Aman).
Results The median UIC of the PW in Sarawak was 105.6 µg/L, indicating iodine
deficiency. A total of 330 (65.0%) PW had UIC