Knowledge about Iodine in Pregnant and Lactating Women in the Oslo Area, Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: Lack of knowledge about iodine may be a risk factor for iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge about iodine and predictors of iodine knowledge scores among pregnant and lactating women. The study also examined whether iodine knowledge scores were associated with iodine status. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 804 pregnant women and 175 lactating women from 18 to 44 years of age in 2016 in the Oslo area, Norway. Knowledge about iodine was collected through a self-administered, paper-based questionnaire. Iodine concentrations in urine and breast milk were measured using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS). Results: 74% of the pregnant women and 55% of the lactating women achieved none to low iodine knowledge scores. Higher educated pregnant women and those who had received information about iodine had significantly higher knowledge scores. In lactating women, increased age was associated with higher knowledge scores. Knowledge scores were not associated with participants’ iodine status. Conclusion: This study revealed a lack of knowledge about the importance of iodine in pregnant and lactating women, as well as about the most important dietary sources. Public education initiatives are required to increase the awareness about iodine in these population groups.