Title

Salt-reduction strategies may compromise salt iodization programs: Learnings from South Africa and Ghana

Publication Name

Nutrition

Abstract

Objectives: Universal salt iodization has been adopted by many countries to address iodine deficiency. More recently, salt-reduction strategies have been widely implemented to meet global salt intake targets of <5 g/d. Compatibility of the two policies has yet to be demonstrated. This study compares urinary iodine excretion (UIE) according to 24-h urinary sodium excretion, between South Africa (SA) and Ghana; both countries have implemented universal salt iodization, but in Ghana no salt-reduction legislation has been implemented. Methods: Participants from the World Health Organization's Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health Wave 3, with survey and valid 24-h urinary data (Ghana, n = 495; SA, n = 707), comprised the sample. Median 24-h UIE was compared across salt intake categories of <5, 5–9 and >9 g/d. Results: In Ghana, median sodium excretion indicated a salt intake of 10.7 g/d (interquartile range [IQR] = 7.6), and median UIE was 182.4 µg/L (IQR = 162.5). In SA, both values were lower: median salt = 5.6 g/d (IQR = 5.0), median UIE = 100.2 µg/L (IQR = 129.6). UIE differed significantly across salt intake categories (P < 0.001) in both countries, with positive correlations observed in both—Ghana: r = 0.1501, P < 0.0011; South Africa: r = 0.4050, P < 0.0001. Participants with salt intakes <9 g/d in SA did not meet the World Health Organization's recommended iodine intake of 150 µg/d, but this was not the case in Ghana. Conclusions: Monitoring and surveillance of iodine status is recommended in countries that have introduced salt-reduction strategies, in order to prevent reemergence of iodine deficiency.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Volume

84

Article Number

111065

Funding Number

OGHA 04034785

Funding Sponsor

National Institute on Aging

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2020.111065