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Prevalence of iodine inadequacy in Switzerland assessed by the estimated average requirement cut-point method in relation to the impact of iodized salt

  • Max Haldimann (a1), Murielle Bochud (a2), Michel Burnier (a3), Fred Paccaud (a2) and Vincent Dudler (a1)...



To assess the iodine status of Swiss population groups and to evaluate the influence of iodized salt as a vector for iodine fortification.


The relationship between 24 h urinary iodine and Na excretions was assessed in the general population after correcting for confounders. Single-day intakes were estimated assuming that 92 % of dietary iodine was excreted in 24 h urine. Usual intake distributions were derived for male and female population groups after adjustment for within-subject variability. The estimated average requirement (EAR) cut-point method was applied as guidance to assess the inadequacy of the iodine supply.


Public health strategies to reduce the dietary salt intake in the general population may affect its iodine supply.


The study population (1481 volunteers, aged ≥15 years) was randomly selected from three different linguistic regions of Switzerland.


The 24 h urine samples from 1420 participants were determined to be properly collected. Mean iodine intakes obtained for men (n 705) and women (n 715) were 179 (sd 68·1) µg/d and 138 (sd 57·8) µg/d, respectively. Urinary Na and Ca, and BMI were significantly and positively associated with higher iodine intake, as were men and non-smokers. Fifty-four per cent of the total iodine intake originated from iodized salt. The prevalence of inadequate iodine intake as estimated by the EAR cut-point method was 2 % for men and 14 % for women.


The estimated prevalence of inadequate iodine intake was within the optimal target range of 2–3 % for men, but not for women.

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