Iodine nutrition status and thyroid disorders: a cross-sectional study from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China.Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 11; 70(11):1332-1336.EJ
Iodine nutritional status and its influence on thyroid function have been thoroughly investigated in many places in China, but little is known about Xinjiang province, where multiple minorities are living in a special geographical location and have different lifestyles compared with people from other parts of China. The aim of this study was to evaluate iodine status and thyroid disorders in two major ethnic groups living in the Xinjiang region of China.
A total of 2253 residents over the age of 18 years who had lived in Xinjiang for more than 3 years were enrolled. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC), serum thyroid hormone concentrations and thyroid autoantibodies were measured, and thyroid ultrasonography was performed.
The median UIC was 130.7 μg/l in adults. Among the subjects, those with deficient UIC levels were 34.4%. The prevalence of overt hyper- and hypothyroidism in the iodine-deficient group was higher than in the iodine-sufficient group (1.3% vs 0%, χ2=3.891, P=0.049; 4.8% vs 2.8%, χ2=8.715, P=0.003, respectively), and subclinical hypothyroidism was more frequent in the iodine-deficient group than in the iodine-excess group (19.6% vs 12.5%, χ2=4.529, P=0.033).
One-third of the population is still iodine deficient in Xinjiang. Uyghur females are more susceptible to hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmune diseases. Thyroid disorders, especially hyper/hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism, are more likely to be prevalent in an iodine-deficient population.