Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle
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Update on Worldwide Epidemiologic Trends in Thyroid Cancer

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2020

Findings from a cross-sectional study on the global burden of thyroid cancer were recently reported in JAMA Network Open. YuJiao Deng, PhD, of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University Hangzhou, China, and colleagues used data from the Global Health Data Exchange query tool to examine trends from 195 countries and 21 regions. They observed increasing trends of thyroid cancer burden, with significant differences by sex, region, country, age, and sociodemographic index.

“Comprehensive, in-depth analysis of thyroid cancer in all regions of the world based on a variety of factors may be beneficial for health care planning and resource allocation,” stated Dr. Deng and colleagues.

Data on annual incidence, deaths, disability-adjusted life-years, and age-standardized rate of thyroid cancer were collected from both men and women. There were four age groups (5–14, 15–49, 50–69, and 70 and older) and age-standardized rates, and their estimated annual percentage changes were calculated using linear regression and Pearson product-moment correlation analysis.

Findings revealed increases in thyroid cancer incident cases (169 %), deaths (87 %), and disability-adjusted life-years (75 %). They also found that Southern and Eastern Asia accounted for almost half of the worldwide thyroid cancer burden. Additionally, the majority of the thyroid cancer burden was found in women (70.2% incidence, 58.4% deaths, and 58.7% disability-adjusted life-years). Furthermore, the age at onset for women was between 15 and 49; for men, it was between the ages of 50 and 69. Findings also revealed that 34 % of patients with thyroid cancer lived in countries with a high sociodemographic index, and death from thyroid cancer was concentrated in those 70 years and older. Although there were between 60% and 200% increases in incidence, deaths, and disability-adjusted life year rates, the age-standardized death rate and age-standardized disability-adjusted life-year rates decreased, suggesting possible improvements in therapeutics.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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