Main content area

Pregnancy Loss and Iodine Status: The LIFE Prospective Cohort Study

Mills, James L., Ali, Mehnaz, Buck Louis, Germaine M., Kannan, Kurunthachalam, Weck, Jennifer, Wan, Yanjian, Maisog, Joe, Giannakou, Andreas, Sundaram, Rajeshwari
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.3
cohort studies, confidence interval, contraception, developed countries, iodine, iodine deficiency, nutrition risk assessment, pregnancy outcome, women, Europe, United States
Iodine deficiency in pregnancy is a common problem in the United States and parts of Europe, but whether iodine deficiency is associated with increased pregnancy loss has not been well studied. The LIFE study provided an excellent opportunity to examine the relationship between iodine status and pregnancy loss because women were monitored prospectively to ensure excellent ascertainment of conceptions. The LIFE study, a population-based prospective cohort study, monitored 501 women who had discontinued contraception within two months to become pregnant; 329 became pregnant, had urinary iodine concentrations measured on samples collected at enrollment, and were followed up to determine pregnancy outcomes. Of the 329, 196 had live births (59.5%), 92 (28.0%) had losses, and 41 (12.5%) withdrew or were lost to follow up. Urinary iodine concentrations were in the deficiency range in 59.6% of the participants. The risk of loss, however, was not elevated in the mildly deficient group (hazard ratio 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.34, 1.38), the moderately deficient group (hazard ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.43, 1.51), or the severely deficient group (hazard ratio 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.32, 1.50). Iodine deficiency, even when moderate to severe, was not associated with increased rates of pregnancy loss. This study provides some reassurance that iodine deficiency at levels seen in many developed countries does not increase the risk of pregnancy loss.