The current systematic review aimed to provide comprehensive data on the effects of iodine supplementation in pregnancy and investigate its potential benefits on infant growth parameters and neurocognitive development using meta-analysis.
A systematic review was conducted on trials published from January 1989 to December 2019 by searching MEDLINE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar. For most maternal and neonatal outcomes, a narrative synthesis of the data was performed. For birth anthropometric measurements and infant neurocognitive outcomes, the pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% CIs were estimated using fixed/random effect models.
Fourteen trials were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review, of which five trials were included in the meta-analysis. Although the findings of different thyroid parameters are inconclusive, more consistent evidence showed that iodine supplementation could prevent the increase in thyroglobulin concentration during pregnancy. In the meta-analysis, no differences were found in weight (-0.11 (95% CI: -0.23 to 0.01)), length (-0.06 (95% CI: -0.21 to 0.09)), and head circumference (0.26 (95% CI: -0.35 to 0.88)) at birth, or in cognitive (0.07 (95% CI: -0.07 to 0.20)), language (0.06 (95% CI: -0.22 to 0.35)), and motor (0.07 (95% CI: -0.06 to 0.21)) development during the first 2 years of life in infants between the iodine-supplemented and control groups.
Iodine supplementation during pregnancy can improve the iodine status in pregnant women and their offspring; however, according to our meta-analysis, there was no evidence of improved growth or neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants of iodine-supplemented mothers.
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