Iodine Deficiency Associated with Adolescent Cognitive Performance in Endemic Iodine Deficiency Endemic Area

Leny Latifah, Yusi Dwi Nurcahyani, Suryati Kumorowulan, Diah Yunitawati


Research and Development Center for Health, Magelang



Background: Iodine deficiency is one of the most important public health problems in the world today, especially among children and pregnant women who are considered to be the highest-risk groups. These diseases hinder the socio-economic development of the affected areas. This study aimed to determine iodine deficiency associated with adolescent cognitive performance in endemic iodine deficiency endemic area.

Subjects and Method: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Bulu district, Temanggung. A sample of 120 adolescents range age 11-14 years old was selected by cluster sampling. The dependent variable was Cognitive performance. The independent variable was Iodine deficiency. The data were collected by questionnaire, measurement and assessment. This study was analyzed by multiple logistic regression.

Results: On cognitive performance. Adolescent IQs are below average (69.2%), mathematics tests (64.2%), and Indonesian language tests are below average (47.5%). A total of (30.8%) adolescents showed insufficient iodine intake, goiter enlargement (30.2%), stunting (35%), and anemia (20.8%). The linear regression model on IQ showed goiter enlargement as a factor associated with decreased IQ, even after accounting for confounding factors (p = 0.013; R2 = 0.07). Subjects with goiter enlargement had lower mean IQ (Mean = 10.32). IQ was related to Indonesian achievement (p = 0.031; R2 = 0.13), while UIE (p = 0.031), father’s education (p = 0.011), and IQ (p <0.001) were identified as factors related to math test scores (R2 = 0.23). after accounting for confounding factors.

Conclusion: Iodine deficiency is negatively associated with cognitive performance in areas of endemic infested iodine deficiency. Goiter enlargement, which is an indicator of long-term iodine deficiency status, correlates with IQ. UIE, which reflects current indicators of iodine deficiency status, affects academic achievement. The cognitive impact of iodine deficiency lasts into adolescence. Therefore, ensuring adequate iodine intake in adolescents is essential to optimize their cognitive performance.

Keywords: cognitive performance, iodine deficiency, early adolescence, nutrition, nutrition

Correspondence: Leny Latifah. Research and Development Center for Health, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Email:


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