gms | German Medical Science

17th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

25.11. - 26.11.2010, Osnabrück

Iodine Supplementation during Pregnancy – Impact of medical advice and sociodemographic factors: results from a multicenter study on women in childbed

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Silke Roehl - Universität Osnabrück, FB 08/Gesundheitswissenschaften, Forschungsschwerpunkt Maternal and Child Health, Osnabrück, Germany
  • Beate Schuecking - Universität Osnabrück, FB 08/Gesundheitswissenschaften, Forschungsschwerpunkt Maternal and Child Health, Osnabrück, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 17. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Osnabrück, 25.-26.11.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10gaa31

doi: 10.3205/10gaa31, urn:nbn:de:0183-10gaa310

Published: November 22, 2010

© 2010 Roehl et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Iodine supplementation is a well known prevention of thyroid disease for (pregnant and breastfeeding) mothers and their babies. In Germany, where iodine is added to salt as supplementation for the general population, childbearing and breastfeeding women are at risk for iodine deficit. The amount of iodine required by an adult increases from 180–200 µg per day up to 230 µg in pregnancy and to 260 µg in lactation. Therefore, official guidelines recommend iodine supplementation during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Iodine deficiency is diminishing in the adolescent population but a considerable numbers of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers do not take iodine in Germany.

Methods: This research project questioned 1.128 women in childbed from different regions in Germany. The main questions were whether and how well they had been counseled about iodine; and whether and how much iodine supplementation they have received during pregnancy and postpartum. The condition of iodine supplementation among the women was determined after childbirth during confinement with the help of urinary iodine analysis. Further questioning took place at the end of the first year of the infants’ life.

Results: 60,5% of the 1.128 women got a physicians’ advice for supplementation, and 92% from them followed the advice.

Doctors’ advice appeared to be the most important predictor for supplementation. In the least educated group more than half of all mothers were not informed about iodine supplementation. Being informed early in pregnancy was another important factor. These two factors explain 48% in logistic regression.

Conclusion: Considering both, health economics and avoidable disease, there is a significant need of intense antenatal consultation for pregnant and breastfeeding women, in the least educated group. The important role of physicians was demonstrated.