Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma Risk Factors in French Polynesia


Background: To investigate differentiated thyroid cancer risk factors in natives of French Polynesia is ofinterest because of the very high incidence of this cancer in the archipelago. Materials and
Methods: To assessthe role of various potential risk factors of thyroid cancer in the natives of French Polynesia we performed acase-control study. The study included almost all the French Polynesians diagnosed with differentiated thyroidcarcinoma between 1981 and 2003 (n=229) and 373 French Polynesian control individuals from the generalpopulation without cancer.
Results: Thyroid radiation dose received from nuclear fallout before the age of15, a personal history of neck or/and head medical irradiation, obesity, tallness, large number of children, anartificial menopause, a familial history of thyroid cancer, a low dietary iodine intake, and having a spring asthe main source of drinking water were found to be significant risk factors. No roles of smoking habits, alcoholconsumption, iodine containing drugs, and exposure to pesticides were evidenced.
Conclusions: Except forsmoking, differentiated thyroid carcinoma risk factors in natives of French Polynesia are similar to those inother populations. Our finding on the role of having a spring as a drinking water origin is coherent with someother studies and could be due to geological factors.