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Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Nov 15;180(10):1007-17. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu220. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Menstrual and reproductive factors in the risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma in young women in France: a population-based case-control study.


The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased in eastern Europe since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. Although the radioactive fallout was much less severe and the thyroid radiation dose was much lower in France, a case-control study was initiated in eastern France. The present study included 633 young women who were diagnosed with differentiated thyroid cancer before 35 years of age between 2002 and 2006 and matched with 677 controls. Face-to-face interviews were conducted from 2005 to 2010. Odds ratios were calculated using conditional logistic regressions and were reported in the total group and by histopathological type of cancer ("only papillary" and "excluding microcarcinomas"). The risk of thyroid cancer was higher in women who had a higher number of pregnancies, used a lactation suppressant, or had early menarche. Conversely, breastfeeding, oral contraceptive use, and late age at first pregnancy were associated with a lower risk of thyroid cancer. No association was observed between thyroid cancer and having irregular menstrual cycle, undergoing treatment for menstrual cycle regularity shortly after menarche, having a cessation of menstruation, use of another contraceptive, history of miscarriage or abortion for the first pregnancy, or having had gestational diabetes. This study confirms the role of hormonal and reproductive factors in thyroid cancer, and our results support the fact that exposure to estrogens increases thyroid cancer risk.


case-control study; menstruation; oral contraception; pregnancy; thyroid cancer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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