Background: Iodine deficiency disorder is a major public health problem in Ethiopia that is more common in women of reproductive age. However, it is not well addressed and there is a lack of information on its prevalence and associated factors in women of reproductive age group. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess goiter prevalence and associated factors among women of reproductive age in the Demba Goffa Woreda, Gamo Goffa Zone, and Southwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was used among 584 randomly selected women in the reproductive age group from February 05 to April 20, 2016. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the study Kebeles, and a systematic random sampling technique was used to select the study samples. Data were collected through a pretested questionnaire, and the goiter examination was done clinically for each participant. The collected data were coded and entered into a computer for statistical analysis using Epi-data version 3.2 and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Variables with a P-value ≤ 0.25 in bivariate logistic regression analysis were entered into multivariate logistic regression analysis, and finally, variables with a P-value < 0.05 in multivariate logistic regression were considered significantly associated with the dependent variable.
Results: The total goiter rate was 43%, 95% CI = (39.2-46.9). Cassava consumption (AOR: 2.02, 95% CI: (1.03-4)), salt wash before use (AOR: 3.14, 95% CI: (1.1-11.3)), salt use after > 2 months of purchase (AOR: 11, 95% CI; (5-26)), family history of goiter (AOR: 4.6, 95% CI: (1.4-15.8)), and poor knowledge of iodized salt (AOR: 2.7, 95% CI (1.4-5.5)) were significant factors associated with goiter.
Conclusion: Iodine deficiency was found to be severe in women of reproductive age in the study area. This showed that women of reproductive age, especially during pregnancy, are exposed to iodine deficiency and its adverse effects at delivery. Thus, they need urgent supplementation with iodine, improved access to foods rich in iodine and intake of iodized salt. Additionally, health education should focus on the importance of iodized salt, the proper method of use and the prevention of iodine deficiency, which are highly recommended to minimize the problem.