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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Birthweight and risk of thyroid cancer and its histological types: A large cohort study

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BACKGROUND: The aetiology of thyroid cancer is poorly understood, but it is possible that this malignancy has origins early in life. It is, however, currently unknown if birthweight, as an indicator of prenatal growth, is related to thyroid cancer risk.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate if birthweight is associated with the later risk of thyroid cancer and its histological types.

METHODS: 246,141 children (120,505 girls, 125,636 boys) from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register, born 1936-1989, were prospectively followed in the Danish Cancer Registry. Cox regressions were used to estimate hazards ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: During follow up, 241 individuals (172 women, 69 men) were diagnosed with thyroid cancer (162 papillary, 53 follicular). Birthweight was significantly and positively associated with risk of thyroid cancer overall (HR = 1.30 [95% CI: 1.03-1.64] per kilogram). There were no sex differences in the associations. Birthweight was positively and significantly associated with follicular thyroid cancer (HR = 1.74 [95% CI: 1.07-2.82] per kilogram), and although there was an indication of a positive association, it did not reach statistical significance for the more common papillary type (HR = 1.20 [95% CI: 0.90-1.59] per kilogram).

CONCLUSION: A heavier weight at birth is associated with an elevated risk of total and follicular thyroid cancer, which underscores that prenatal exposures may be important in thyroid cancer aetiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101564
JournalCancer epidemiology
Volume62
Pages (from-to)101564
ISSN1877-7821
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Birthweight, Cohort, Histology, Thyroid neoplasms

ID: 57782658