Urinary iodine is increased in papillary thyroid carcinoma but is not altered by regional population iodine intake status

A meta-analysis and implications

Ann-Rong Yan, Xiaojuan Zhang, Hong Shen, Xia Zhou, Rui Li, Zhexing Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Excessive iodine intake has been associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer (TC) in many studies, but the results have not been consistent. Since it was common knowledge that urinary iodine (UI) is considered a sensitive marker of current iodine intake, we conducted a meta-analysis to clarify the association between high UI and TC. We adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement, and the Cochrane Collaboration. Betweengroup meta-analyses were performed to compare UI between TC patients and the healthy/euthyroid subjects in local residents and benign thyroid nodules (BTN) patients. Then, between-group meta-analyses to compare the incidence rate of iodine excess were also conducted. The 22 case-control studies included in the meta-analyses represented 15,476 participants. It is the first time to clarify that UI was increased in PTC patients, but was not altered by regional population iodine intake status. Compared with BTN patients, PTC patients exhibited both higher UIC and higher odds ratio of iodine excess only in adequate iodine intake status subgroup; UIC, not the odds ratio of iodine excess, was higher in patients with PTC than those with BTN in above requirements iodine intake subgroup. A novel insight is offered that high UI in PTC patients was less influenced by regional population iodine intake status. It is indicted that high iodine intake is not a risk factor for PTC and high urinary iodine is just a specific characteristic of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalEndocrine Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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