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As city residents eat out more frequently, it is unknown that if iodised salt is still required in home cooking. We analysed the relationship of household salt and eating out on urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women. A household condiment weighing method was implemented to collect salt data for a week. A household salt sample was collected. A urine sample was taken at the end of the week. Totally, 4640 participants were investigated. The median UIC was 139·1 μg/l in pregnant women and 148·7, 140·0 and 122·9 μg/l in the first, second and third trimesters. Median UIC in the third trimester was lower than in the other trimesters (P < 0·001). The usage rates of iodised (an iodine content ≥ 5·0 mg/kg) and qualified-iodised (an iodine content ≥ 21·0 mg/kg) salt were 73·9 and 59·3 %. The median UIC in the qualified-iodised salt group was higher than in the non-iodised group (P = 0·037). The median UIC in the non-iodised group who did not eat out was lower than in qualified-salt groups who both did and did not eat out (P = 0·007, <0·001). The proportion of qualified-iodised salt used in home cooking is low, but foods eaten out have universal salt iodisation according to the national compulsory policy. Household iodised salt did not play a decisive role in the iodine status of pregnant women. Pregnant women in their third trimester who are not eating out and using non-iodised salt at home require extra iodine.
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