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Public Health Nutr. 2015 Jun;18(8):1482-7. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014002183. Epub 2014 Sep 29.

Prevalence of hyperthyroidism according to type of vegetarian diet.

Author information

1
1Department of Health Promotion and Education,School of Public Health,Loma Linda University,24951 N. Circle Drive,Nichol Hall Room 1519,Loma Linda,CA 92354,USA.
2
2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,School of Public Health,Loma Linda University,Loma Linda,CA,USA.
3
3Department of Cardiology,School of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,School of Public Health,Loma Linda University,Loma Linda,CA,USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Vegetarian diets may be associated with low prevalence of autoimmune disease, as observed in rural sub-Saharan Africans. Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. We studied prevalence of hyperthyroidism according to dietary pattern in a population with a high proportion of vegetarians.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional prevalence study. The association between diet and prevalence of hyperthyroidism was examined using multivariate logistic regression analyses controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and salt use.

SETTING:

The Adventist Health Study-2 conducted in the USA and Canada.

SUBJECTS:

Church members (n 65 981) provided demographic, dietary, lifestyle and medical history data by questionnaire.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of self-reported hyperthyroidism was 0·9 %. Male gender (OR=0·32; 95 % CI 0·26, 0·41) and moderate or high income (OR=0·67; 95 % CI 0·52, 0·88 and OR=0·73; 95 % CI 0·58, 0·91, respectively) protected against hyperthyroidism, while obesity and prevalent CVD were associated with increased risk (OR=1·25; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·54 and OR=1·92; 95 % CI 1·53, 2·42, respectively). Vegan, lacto-ovo and pesco vegetarian diets were associated with lower risk compared with omnivorous diets (OR=0·49; 95 % CI 0·33, OR=0·72, 0·65; 95 % CI 0·53, 0·81 and OR=0·74; 95 % CI 0·56, 1·00, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Exclusion of all animal foods was associated with half the prevalence of hyperthyroidism compared with omnivorous diets. Lacto-ovo and pesco vegetarian diets were associated with intermediate protection. Further study of potential mechanisms is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Thyroid

PMID:
25263477
PMCID:
PMC4377303
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980014002183
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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