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Mailman School PH study finds increase in thyroid diseases risk from exposure at Chernobyl
Date:2/19/2008

es that women had a notably higher risk of follicular adenoma compared with men.

The Chernobyl accident presented an unparalleled opportunity to study the association between radioactive iodines and a spectrum of thyroid diseases, said Lydia B. Zablotska, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the project and assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. While there have been several analytical epidemiologic studies of thyroid cancer following the Chernobyl accident, none had evaluated follicular adenoma in particular. This paper presents risk estimates of follicular adenoma in relation to individual thyroid doses as well as the effects of gender, age at exposure, iodine deficiency, and other possible effect-modifying factors.

The researchers note that the radioactive iodines accumulated in the human thyroid gland via the consumption of contaminated milk and other food items. Various earlier studies have shown that the populations of Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation experienced large increases of thyroid cancer in those exposed to the fallout before the age of 18 years. This increase became apparent 45 years after the accident and confirmed previous suggestions.

Also among the major strengths of the Mailman School study are the availability of individual thyroid doses based on thyroid radioactivity measurements made within two months after the accident and the data collected during screening. While the researchers caution that these results are based on a small number of cases, our findings are further strengthened by the high fine-needle biopsy compliance rate of 93 percent. Because all those referred for surgery following fine-needle aspiration biopsy have been operated upon, it is unlikely that follicular adenoma was underdiagnosed, Dr. Zablotska said.

Ukraine is known to have a mild to moderate iodine deficiency previously shown to affect radiation-related risks of thyroid cancer. In t
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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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