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      Environmental, Lifestyle, and Anthropometric Risk Factors for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer in Cuba: A Case-Control Study

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          The incidence of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) is low in people of African origin and higher in populations living on islands, but there is no well-established explanation for these differences. Cuba is a multiethnic nation with people of African and Spanish descent. Until now, no study on the risk factors of DTC has focused on the Cuban population. Our aim is to establish the role of environmental and lifestyle factors and to relate anthropometric measurements to the risk of developing DTC in Cuba.


          We performed a case-control study of 203 DTC patients treated in two hospitals in Havana and 212 controls living in the area covered by these hospitals (i.e. parts of Havana and the municipality of Jaruco). Risk factors were analyzed using conditional logistic regression.


          As has been shown by other studies, we found that non-African ethnicity, never smoking, parity, and high body mass index are risk factors significantly associated with DTC, whereas a history of exposure to ionizing radiation and level of education were not significantly related with disease development. Being rhesus factor-positive, having a personal history of benign thyroid disorder, agricultural occupation, and consumption of artesian well water were also associated with a significantly increased risk of developing DTC.


          The original findings reported here concern the risk of DTC that was associated with non-African ethnicity, positive rhesus factor, farming, and drinking water from an artesian well.

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          Most cited references 26

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          International patterns and trends in thyroid cancer incidence, 1973-2002.

          During the past several decades, an increasing incidence of thyroid cancer has been reported in many parts of the world. To date, no study has compared the trends in thyroid cancer incidence across continents. We examined incidence data from cancer incidence in five continents (CI5) over the 30-year period 1973-2002 from 19 populations in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Thyroid cancer rates have increased from 1973-1977 to 1998-2002 for most of the populations except Sweden, in which the incidence rates decreased about 18% for both males and females. The average increase was 48.0% among males and 66.7% among females. More recently, the age-adjusted international thyroid cancer incidence rates from 1998 to 2002 varied 5-fold for males and nearly 10-fold for females by geographic region. Considerable variation in thyroid cancer incidence was present for every continent but Africa, in which the incidence rates were generally low. Our analysis of published CI5 data suggests that thyroid cancer rates increased between 1973 and 2002 in most populations worldwide, and that the increase does not appear to be restricted to a particular region of the world or by the underlying rates of thyroid cancer.
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            Risk factors for thyroid cancer: an epidemiological review focused on nutritional factors.

            The present review summarizes epidemiological evidence on risk factors for thyroid cancer (TC), in particular, nutritional factors. Searches of articles on the issue were conducted using MEDLINE. Exposure to ionizing radiation, particularly during childhood, is the best-established risk factor for TC. There is also a strong association with history of benign nodules/adenoma or goiter. Iodine deficiency may induce an increasing incidence of benign thyroid conditions, but very high iodine intake also affects thyroid function and, possibly, TC risk. Among dietary factors, fish-the major natural source of iodine in human diet-is not consistently related to TC risk. High intake of cruciferous vegetables shows a weak inverse association with TC. Among other food groups, vegetables other than cruciferous are the only food group showing a favorable effect on TC, with an approximate 20% reduction in risk for subjects with the highest consumption. No effect on TC risk of alcohol, coffee, or other food-groups/nutrients emerged. Height and weight at diagnosis show a moderate positive association with TC risk. At present, the only recognized measures for reducing TC risk is to avoid ionizing radiation and iodine deficiency, particularly in childhood and young women, and to increase vegetable consumption.
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              Nitrate intake and the risk of thyroid cancer and thyroid disease.

              Nitrate is a contaminant of drinking water in agricultural areas and is found at high levels in some vegetables. Nitrate competes with uptake of iodide by the thyroid, thus potentially affecting thyroid function. We investigated the association of nitrate intake from public water supplies and diet with the risk of thyroid cancer and self-reported hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in a cohort of 21,977 older women in Iowa who were enrolled in 1986 and who had used the same water supply for >10 years. We estimated nitrate ingestion from drinking water using a public database of nitrate measurements (1955-1988). Dietary nitrate intake was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire and levels from the published literature. Cancer incidence was determined through 2004. We found an increased risk of thyroid cancer with higher average nitrate levels in public water supplies and with longer consumption of water exceeding 5 mg/L nitrate-N (for >or=5 years at >5 mg/L, relative risk [RR] = 2.6 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-6.2]). We observed no association with prevalence of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Increasing intake of dietary nitrate was associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer (highest vs. lowest quartile, RR = 2.9 [1.0-8.1]; P for trend = 0.046) and with the prevalence of hypothyroidism (odds ratio = 1.2 [95% CI = 1.1-1.4]), but not hyperthyroidism. Nitrate may play a role in the etiology of thyroid cancer and warrants further study.

                Author and article information

                Eur Thyroid J
                Eur Thyroid J
                European Thyroid Journal
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, )
                September 2014
                28 August 2014
                1 March 2015
                : 3
                : 3
                : 189-196
                Copyright © 2014 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Karger's Author's Choice™ licensing agreement, adapted from the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 license. This license allows authors to re-use their articles for educational and research purposes as long as the author and the journal are fully acknowledged.

                Tables: 5, References: 25, Pages: 8
                Clinical Thyroidology / Original Paper


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