Faryal Shaikh, Syed Imtiaz Ahmed Jafry, Asad Ali Khan.
Factors affecting the consumption of iodized salt by pregnant women in Karachi.
Pak J Med Sci May ;38(3):577-82.

Background and Objective: Globally iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) is a major preventable cause of cognitive impairment in new born. In developing countries, every year 38 million newborn develop cognitive impairment as a result of iodine deficiency. Iodine consumption by pregnant women is affected by many factors. Hence, we conducted this study to identify factors associated with IDD. To know the effects of different factors on use of iodized salt by pregnant women visiting antenatal outpatient department (OPD) at a public sector tertiary care hospital of Karachi. Methods: Pregnant women (n=360) visiting antenatal OPD at public sector tertiary care hospital of Karachi were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Systematic random sampling method was employed. Data was collected from March 2017 to January 2018. Chi-square test was applied to identify factors associated with IDD. Results: Thirty one (31% ) of pregnant women were consuming iodized salt in their homes. The percentage of participants who heard about iodized salt for the first time was 24%. Twelve percent (12%) reported that price of iodized salt is more than that of normal salt. Ninety eight (98%) of pregnant women replied that they were not informed about the importance of iodine or iodine requirement during pregnancy by their doctor or health care provider. A statistically significant association was observed between educational status (p=0.001) and household income (p<0.001) with the use of iodized salt. Conclusion: Low education, low income of study participants are identified as factors related to limited consumption and incorrect practices related to the use of iodized salt. In order to address iodine deficiency, there is a need to not only sensitize the expectant mothers about the adverse outcome of maternal iodine deficiency for their unborn child but also to introduce an awareness program at the antenatal clinics by the Health Professional for the antenatal care seeking women. There is also an immense need of support from Government side as well to make strategies and policy changes at the national level to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of iodized salt.

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