Iodine Supplementation in Pregnancy - is it time?
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Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone and optimal fetal neurological development. Pregnant women living in borderline or moderate-severe iodine deficient areas are at particularly high risk of being iodine deficient, and this may have important clinical consequences, particularly for the neurocognitive development of the offspring. It is a substantial problem and many countries including the UK are mild-moderately iodine deficient. Although the detrimental effects of severe iodine deficiency are well recognised, the benefits of correcting mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency are unclear due to a lack of randomized controlled trials in this area. However, observational data increasingly indicate that there may be substantial health and economic benefits from correcting iodine deficiency in pregnancy. There is now a growing trend from learned societies that iodine supplementation should be utilized in pregnancy in countries with mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency. The dose of iodine supplement needs to reflect local iodine status and iodisation policies and will need careful monitoring at the population level to ensure doses to prevent under/excess dosing which would undermine the potential benefits. National tailored guidance is therefore essential. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.