Objectives: To determine the effect of adjustment for intraindividual variation on estimations of urinary iodine concentrations (UIC), prevalence of iodine deficiency and population distribution of iodine status.
Setting: Community-dwelling older adults from New South Wales, Australia.
Participants: 84 healthy men and women aged 60–95 years were recruited prior to introduction of the mandatory iodine fortification programme. Primary and secondary outcome: measures UIC data were collected from three spot urine samples, each 1 week apart. Repeated measures analysis of variance were determined between-person (sb) and total (sobs) SDs. Adjusted UIC values were calculated as ((person's UIC−group mean)×(sb/sobs))+group mean, and a corrected UIC distribution was calculated.
Results: The sb/sobs for using three samples and two samples were 0.83 and 0.79, respectively. Following adjustment for intraindividual variation, the proportion with UIC <50 μg/L reduced from 33% to 19%, while the proportion with UIC ≥100 μg/L changed from 21% to 17%. The 95th centile for UIC decreased from 176 to 136 μg/L. Adjustment by taking averages yielded a lesser degree of contraction in the distribution than the analysis of variance method.
Conclusions: The addition of information about intraindividual variability has potential for increasing the interpretability of UIC data collected to monitor the iodine status of a population.