News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Thyroid cancer risk in NZ highest among Pacific women

Thyroid cancer risk in New Zealand highest among Pacific women

Just-published research shows Pacific women have the highest rates of thyroid cancer in New Zealand.

Published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the University of Otago Wellington study linked Census and cancer registration data to calculate incidence rates of the disease between 1981 and 2004, with a total of 2541 thyroid cancers included in the study period.

Rates were higher for women than men, with the highest rates observed among Pacific women – 18.5 per 100,000 compared to 8.3 per 100,000 for Māori and 5.2 per 100,000 for European/other women. Risk was highest for Pacific women over the age of 45.

Lead author Dr Ineke Meredith says the higher incidence among women than men in New Zealand is consistent with a female preponderance observed worldwide, and suggests hormonal and reproductive factors play a role. The incidence rate for Pacific men was 2.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.2 for Māori and 2.2 per for European/other.

Dr Meredith says the higher rate among Pacific women is in keeping with high rates across multiple Pacific Islands, although this varies between nations such as New Caledonia where Melanesian women have the highest rates in the world, and nations such as Samoa which has very low rates among women.

“Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare disease in developed countries, but continues to be of importance in the Pacific and among Pacific women in New Zealand. More work needs to be done to identify which Pacific groups are driving the incidence rates observed in New Zealand, and whether thyroid cancer risk is affected by birthplace and migrant status,” she says.

One theory is that thyroid cancer rates among Pacific women will be largely among those born in the Pacific due to high consumption of iodine-rich seafood among children and young people living in the Pacific, Dr Meredith says.

“The relationship between iodine and thyroid function is complex, but both iodine deficiency and excess can cause goiter, which is a risk factor for thyroid cancer.”

Study co-author Professor Tony Blakely says risk factors for thyroid cancer are unclear, but along with iodine deficiency and excess, suggested potential factors include family history of thyroid cancer or personal history of benign thyroid disease and low consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The cancer most frequently presents in the fourth or fifth decade of life, and is two to four times more frequent in women than men, Professor Blakely says.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...
More>>

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

Howard Davis: The Kuijken String Quartet

Chamber Music New Zealand has scored another coup with the Kuijken String Quartet's current tour of New Zealand. As the co-founder of both La Petite Bande in 1972 and the Kuijken String Quartet in 1986, Sigiswald Kuijken is internationally recognized ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland