To investigate the association between access to adequately iodised household salt and iodine status among women of reproductive age.
A national and sub-nationally representative survey was undertaken in December 2014. The survey questionnaire was targeted to females responsible for making decisions about food preparation in 16 randomly selected households from each of 123 clusters. In each consenting household, a sample of household salt and a urine sample from one consenting woman of reproductive age (WRA) were collected for analysis of iodine using quality-assured titration (salt) and Sandell Kolthoff (urine) methodologies.
Overall, 1566 salt and 1494 urine samples were analysed for iodine concentration. Nationally, household coverage of salt with any iodine was 81.3% and adequate iodine was 37.2%. National median urinary iodine concentration (MUIC) among WRA was 98.0µg/l, just below the cut off of 100µg/l considered to indicate sufficiency of population iodine intake. MUIC among WRA varied by household salt iodine content and was above 100µg/l only among WRA from households using adequately iodised salt. Household salt >=15ppm iodine, MUIC was 123.1µg/l; 5-<15ppm iodine, MUIC was 85.4µg/l; <5ppm iodine, MUIC was 83.6µg/l.
Results show a clear association at the population level between the iodine level of household salt and iodine status of WRA living in these households. Given the relatively low household coverage of adequately iodised salt and the low MUIC among WRA nationally, these findings support the urgent need to revise the strategy and interventions to achieve and sustain optimal iodine status in Senegal.