Our aim was to determine the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) as a population-level indicator of iodine status among rural women of reproductive age in Prey Veng province, Cambodia.
This study used baseline data that were collected before the start of a randomized trial of homestead food production and improved aquaculture in Prey Veng province, Cambodia. A total of 450 women (18-45 y) provided a single spot morning urine sample in 2012. Of those women, 93% (n=420) were non-pregnant and 7% (n=30) were pregnant at the time of collection. UIC was quantified using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction with modifications.
The median UIC of non-pregnant (139.4 µg/L) and pregnant women (156.6 µg/L) were indicative of adequate iodine status using the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD epidemiological criteria for both groups (median UIC between 100-199 and 150-249 µg/L, respectively). Distribution frequencies by category show that an estimated 28% of non-pregnant and 37% of pregnant women had individual UIC <100 and <150 µg/L (cut-off values indicative of iodine deficiency, respectively), indicating that there were proportions of both populations that may not have had adequate iodine status as determined from the population-level assessment criteria.
We conclude that non-pregnant and pregnant women in rural Prey Veng, Cambodia had adequate iodine status based on single spot morning urine samples collected in 2012. More research is warranted to investigate iodine status among larger and more representative populations of women in Cambodia, especially in light of recent policy changes to the national program for universal salt iodization.