Iodine nutrition with North Atlantic living: the Faroese adolescents

Herborg Líggjasardóttir Johannesen, Stig Andersen, Stine L. Andersen, Kári Rubek Nielsen, Pál Magni Weihe, Maria Skaalum Petersen, Anna Sofía Veyhe

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Iodine nutrition is critical for human health. While iodine excretion was low within the recommended range among adult Faroese, younger generations tend to abandon local foods. Such changes raise a concern about iodine intake, which led us to perform this first study of iodine nutrition among teenagers in the North Atlantic islands. We used samples from a nationwide collection of urine samples in 14-year-olds following iodine fortification of salt in 2000. Urine was analysed for iodine and creatinine to adjust for dilution by iodine/creatinine, and a food frequency questionnaire was used to record the intake of iodine-rich foods. The 129 participants yielded a 90 % precision of the estimated iodine nutrition level. The median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was 166 μg/l (bootstrapped 95 % confidence interval 156–184 μg/l). The median creatinine-adjusted UIC was 132 μg/g (bootstrapped 95 % CI 120–138 μg/g). Fish and whale meat dinners were more frequent among residents of villages compared with the capital: median fish dinners, 3 v. 2 per week (P = 0⋅001), and whale meat, 1 v. 0⋅4 per month (P < 0⋅001). UIC decreased with fewer fish dinners (P = 0⋅03). Our study demonstrated that
Faroese teenagers were iodine-replete. The changing dietary habits emphasise the need for continuous monitoring of iodine nutrition and surveying iodine deficiency disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • Arctic society
  • Faroe Islands
  • Health survey
  • Iodine status
  • Urinary iodine excretion


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