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Title: Subclinical hypothyroidism after radioiodine exposure: Ukrainian-American cohort study of thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases after the Chornobyl accident (1998-2000).
Authors: Ostroumova E,  Brenner A,  Oliynyk V,  McConnell R,  Robbins J,  Terekhova G,  Zablotska L,  Likhtarev I,  Bouville A,  Shpak V,  Markov V,  Masnyk I,  Ron E,  Tronko M,  Hatch M
Journal: Environ Health Perspect
Date: 2009 May
Branches: REB
PubMed ID: 19479016
PMC ID: PMC2685836
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid abnormality in patients treated with high doses of iodine-131 (131I). Data on risk of hypothyroidism from low to moderate 131I thyroid doses are limited and inconsistent. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to quantify the risk of hypothyroidism prevalence in relation to 131I doses received because of the Chornobyl accident. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional (1998-2000) screening study of thyroid diseases in a cohort of 11,853 individuals < 18 years of age at the time of the accident, with individual thyroid radioactivity measurements taken within 2 months of the accident. We measured thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine, and antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (ATPO) in serum. RESULTS: Mean age at examination of the analysis cohort was 21.6 years (range, 12.2-32.5 years), with 49% females. Mean 131I thyroid dose was 0.79 Gy (range, 0-40.7 Gy). There were 719 cases with hypothyroidism (TSH > 4 mIU/L), including 14 with overt hypothyroidism. We found a significant, small association between (131)I thyroid doses and prevalent hypothyroidism, with the excess odds ratio (EOR) per gray of 0.10 (95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.21). EOR per gray was higher in individuals with ATPO < or = 60 U/mL compared with individuals with ATPO > 60 U/mL (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to find a significant relationship between prevalence of hypothyroidism and individual (131)I thyroid doses due to environmental exposure. The radiation increase in hypothyroidism was small (10% per Gy) and limited largely to subclinical hypothyroidism. Prospective data are needed to evaluate the dynamics of radiation-related hypothyroidism and clarify the role of antithyroid antibodies.