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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Thyroid nodules in an eleven-year DanThyr follow-up study

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article


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Context: Limited longitudinal data are available on changes in the thyroid gland structure in a population and how this is influenced by iodine fortification (IF). Objective: To clarify how IF influenced thyroid gland structure in two regions with different iodine intake at baseline (Copenhagen, mild iodine deficiency (ID); Aalborg, moderate ID). Design and Setting: A longitudinal population-based study (DanThyr) where participants were examined before (1997) and after (2008) the Danish mandatory IF of salt (2000). Participants: We examined 2,465 adults and ultrasonography was performed by the same sonographers using the same equipment, after controlling performances. Main Outcome Measure: Change in thyroid gland structure. Results: The follow-up period saw an increased prevalence of multinodularity (9.8-13.8 %, p<0.001), especially in the previously moderate ID region of Aalborg (9.1 -15.4 %, p<0.001), whereas no change in prevalence was seen for solitary nodules (5.6- 5.1 %, p=0.34). In individual participants, changes in thyroid structure and disappearance of thyroid nodules during the 11 years was common with an overall normalization rate of 21.2 (95% CI 17.9-24.9) per 1000 person-years. Solitary nodules had a significantly higher normalization rate than multiple nodules (normalization rate ratio 0.47 (CI 0.32-0.67). Regional difference (Aalborg vs. Copenhagen) was seen between normalization rates of multiple nodules (normalization rate ratio 0.29 (CI 0.12-0.64)), but not for solitary nodules (normalization rate ratio 0.81 (CI 0.53-0.1.21)). Conclusions: Changes in the thyroid gland structure with both appearance and disappearance of thyroid nodules are common after an iodization program.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)4749-4757
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2014

ID: 44570540