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Long-term Iodine nutrition is associated with longevity in older adults: a 20 years' follow-up of the Randers-Skagen study

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  • Johannes Riis
  • Klaus M Pedersen
  • Mathias B Danielsen
  • Gustav V B Sørensen
  • Martin G Jørgensen
  • Stine L Andersen
  • Allan Carlé
  • Inge B Pedersen
  • Christian Torp-Pedersen
  • Stig Andersen
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Iodine intake affects the occurrence of thyroid disorders. However, the association of iodine intake with longevity remains to be described. This led us to perform a 20 years' follow-up on participants from the Randers-Skagen (RaSk) study. Residents in Randers born in 1920 (n 210) and Skagen born in 1918-1923 (n 218) were included in a clinical study in 1997-1998. Mean iodine content in drinking water was 2 µg/l in Randers and 139 µg/l in Skagen. We collected baseline data through questionnaires, performed physical examinations and measured iodine concentrations in spot urine samples. Income data were retrieved from Danish registries. We performed follow-up on mortality until 31 December 2017 using Danish registries. Complete follow-up data were available on 428 out of 430 of participants (99·5 %). At baseline, the median urinary iodine concentration was 55 µg/l in Randers and 160 µg/l in Skagen residents. Participants were long-term residents with 72·8 and 92·7 % residing for more than 25 years in Randers and Skagen, respectively. Cox regression showed that living in Skagen compared with Randers was associated with a lower hazard ratio (HR) of death in both age- and sex-adjusted analyses (HR 0·60, 95 % CI 0·41, 0·87, P = 0·006), but also after adjustment for age, sex, number of drugs, Charlson co-morbidity index, smoking, alcohol and income (HR 0·60, 95 % CI 0·41, 0·87, P = 0·008). Residing in iodine-replete Skagen was associated with increased longevity. This indicates that long-term residency in an iodine-replete environment may be associated with increased longevity compared with residency in an iodine-deficient environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe British journal of nutrition
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Iodine nutrition, longevity, older adults, tap water, thyroid function

ID: 59910110