EQUIP : Ensuring the Quality of Urinary Iodine Procedures
Published Date:March 2012
Corporate Authors:National Center for Environmental Health (U.S.). Office of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health.
Description:Iodine is a micronutrient used by the body to make thyroid hormones, which are necessary for normal growth, development, and metabolism throughout a person’s lifetime. Most people do not get all of the iodine that they need, and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are thought to affect more than a billion people worldwide. Iodine deficiency is the most preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. However, only 70% of the world’s edible salt is iodized, and in the United States, only 50-60% of the population uses iodized salt. Because there is no active control of iodine in the food supply (at least not in the United States), monitoring urinary iodine levels is an essential part of measuring a country’s thyroid health.
Accurate laboratory tests can detect iodine deficiency. Urinary iodine (UI) analysis is the most common method used, worldwide, for assessing the iodine status of a population. In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) established the Ensuring the Quality of Iodine Procedures (EQUIP) program to help laboratories worldwide assess the accuracy of their urinary iodine analyses and to provide them with technical support. EQUIP is a standardization program that addresses laboratory quality-assurance issues related to testing for iodine deficiency. CDC’s EQUIP program currently assists more than 126 iodine laboratories in more than 60 countries. Iodine is one of many micronutrients for which CDC monitors and conducts research.
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