Introduction: Previous studies have shown that the Azorean population presented a lack of iodine intake in children and pregnant women. This led organizations to initiate more efforts to increase awareness and provide solutions to this problem, particularly through the consumption of iodised salt.
Objectives: To clarify the effectiveness of the implemented heath measures and what influenced the use of iodised salt.
Methodology: Observational and cross-sectional study with the application of a questionnaire that surveys iodine consumption in people presenting to the Unidade de Saúde da Ilha do Faial, Azores, between November 9th and November 14th, 2020.
Results: Out of 100 individuals, 49 consumed iodised salt and 51 individuals did not. The mean age of responders was 49,81 years old. 19 participants had a diagnosis of thyroid disease. A recommendation from a physician and/or a nutritionist was the main reason that influenced people to implement iodised salt in their diet (n=18; 36.7%). Out of the 51 participants who did not consume iodised salt, 21 (41.2%) did not know about the existence of iodised salt and 11 did not know the benefits of iodised salt (21.6%). 28 individuals (28%) stated that a health care professional had recommended them to implement iodised salt or a multivitamin supplement containing iodine in their diet as opposed to 66 (66%) who said they did not receive that recommendation. Individuals who had a recommendation by a health care professional to implement iodised salt or a multivitamin supplement containing iodine are 8 times more likely to utilize iodised salt (OR=8,138; CI 95% [2,764;23,967]).
Conclusions: While it is a work in progress, the implementation of iodised salt in the Azorean’s diet has taken a step in the right direction. It was demonstrated that implementing the consumption of iodised salt, explaining its importance and creating awareness of iodine deficiency by a health care worker can be a powerful weapon to tackle iodine deficiency.