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Iodine Status among Somali Immigrants in Norway

University of Oslo, Department of Community Medicine and Global Health, Institute of Health and Society, Post Box 1130 Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 0318 Oslo, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(3), 305;
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
PDF [229 KB, uploaded 9 March 2018]


We lack knowledge about iodine status in the Norwegian population in general, and particularly among immigrants. We aimed to estimate the iodine status and potentially associated factors in a Somali population in Norway. Somali men and women aged 20–73, who were living in one district in Oslo, were recruited between December 2015 and October 2016. Twenty-four-hour urine was collected from 169 participants (91 females and 78 males). Iodine was analysed using the Sandell–Kolthoff reaction on microplates and colorimetric measurement. Information about diet was collected using a short food frequency questionnaire. Iodine intake was calculated from the 24-h iodine excretion. The mean urine volume over 24-h was 1.93 liters (min–max: 0.55–4.0) and the urinary iodine concentration (UIC) varied from 13 to 263 µg/L with a median value of 62.5 µg/L indicating a population with mild iodine deficiency. The median daily iodine intake for the study population was estimated to be 124 μg/day. Mean serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) was 2.1 (SD 1.1) mU/L, 15.0 (SD 2.1) pmol/L, and 5.1 (SD 0.6) pmol/L, respectively. No food groups were associated with iodine intake and neither was gender, age, education level nor length of residence in Norway. In conclusion, this study showed that iodine intake was low, and a considerable proportion of the Somali population studied had sub-optimal iodine status. Monitoring of iodine status should be prioritised and measures to ensure adequate iodine intake, particularly among vulnerable groups initiated. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary determinants; iodine; urinary iodine excretion; Somali immigrants; 24-h urine collection dietary determinants; iodine; urinary iodine excretion; Somali immigrants; 24-h urine collection
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Madar, A.A.; Meltzer, H.M.; Heen, E.; Meyer, H.E. Iodine Status among Somali Immigrants in Norway. Nutrients 2018, 10, 305.

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