Effect on infant mortality of iodination of irrigation water in a severely iodine-deficient area of China.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Hotien county in Xinjiang province, China, is an area of severe iodine deficiency and has a high infantmortality rate. We investigated whether iodine replacement through iodination of the irrigation water would decrease infant mortality. METHODS: We added potassium iodate to irrigation water over a 2 to 4 week period beginning in 1992 in certain areas of three townships (Tusala, Long Ru, and Bakechi). Logistic regression analysis was used to compare the odds ratios for infant and neonatal mortality in treated and intreated areas. FINDINGS: The median urinary iodine concentration significantly increased in women of child-bearing age from < 10 micrograms/L to 55 micrograms/L. Infant-mortality rates decreased in the treated areas of Long Ru (mean [SD] 58.2 [4.4] per 1000 births to 28.7 [7.1] per 1000 births), Tusala (47.4 [12.4] per 1000 births to 19.1 [1.5] per 1000 births), and Bakechi (106.2 [9.5] per 1000 births to 57.3 [7.3] per 1000 births). Similar results were also seen for neonatal mortality. On regression analysis iodine treatment and time were significant independent predictors of infant mortality. INTERPRETATION: Iodine supplementation of irrigation water in areas of severe iodine deficiency decreases neonatal and infant mortality. Iodine replacement has probably been an important factor in the national decrease in infant mortality in China.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • DeLong, GR; Leslie, PW; Wang, SH; Jiang, XM; Zhang, ML; Rakeman, M; Jiang, JY; Ma, T; Cao, XY

Published Date

  • September 13, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 350 / 9080

Start / End Page

  • 771 - 773

PubMed ID

  • 9297997

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9297997

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0140-6736

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0140-6736(96)12365-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England