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

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi.
More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

CDF Tim Keating: NZ Somme Centenary

"Our generals also knew what to expect, and they built that knowledge into their planning. Each of the four set-piece attacks was fought with a single brigade, with the expectation that the brigade would be used up. A fresh brigade would then be brought up to conduct the next set-piece..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news