To determine the effect of adjustment for intraindividual variation on estimations of urinary iodine concentrations (UIC), prevalence of iodine deficiency and population distribution of iodine status.
Community-dwelling older adults from New South Wales, Australia.
84 healthy men and women aged 60–95 years were recruited prior to introduction of the mandatory iodine fortification programme.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
UIC data were collected from three spot urine samples, each 1 week apart. Repeated measures analysis of variance were determined between-person (sb) and total (sobs) SDs. Adjusted UIC values were calculated as ((person's UIC−group mean)×(sb/sobs))+group mean, and a corrected UIC distribution was calculated.
The sb/sobs for using three samples and two samples were 0.83 and 0.79, respectively. Following adjustment for intraindividual variation, the proportion with UIC <50 μg/L reduced from 33% to 19%, while the proportion with UIC ≥100 μg/L changed from 21% to 17%. The 95th centile for UIC decreased from 176 to 136 μg/L. Adjustment by taking averages yielded a lesser degree of contraction in the distribution than the analysis of variance method.
The addition of information about intraindividual variability has potential for increasing the interpretability of UIC data collected to monitor the iodine status of a population.