Iodine Supplementation in Pregnancy Can Have Lasting Cost Savings
(HealthDay News) — Iodine supplementation is potentially cost saving for pregnant women in the United Kingdom, according to a review published online August 9 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Mark Monahan, from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the cost-effectiveness of iodine supplementation vs. no supplementation for pregnant women in a mildly to moderately iodine-deficient population. Clinical data relating to iodine deficiency in pregnant women and the effect on IQ in children aged 8–9 years were examined. Analyses were conducted from a health service perspective (direct health costs) and societal perspective (education costs and value of an IQ point). Eight articles were used to calculate the monetary value of an IQ point.
The researchers found that, based on earnings, the estimated discounted lifetime value of one additional IQ point was £3,297 for the offspring cohort. From a health service perspective and societal perspective, iodine supplementation was cost saving (saving £199 and £4,476, respectively, per pregnant woman), with a net gain of 1.22 IQ points in each analysis. Case results were robust to sensitivity analyses.
"Iodine supplementation for pregnant women in the United Kingdom is potentially cost saving," the authors write. "This finding also has implications for the 1.88 billion people in the 32 countries with iodine deficiency worldwide."
One author is a member of the U.K. Iodine Group.