Overweight, obese teens more likely to develop papillary thyroid cancer as adults
Being overweight or obese in adolescence appears to increase the risk of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) in adulthood, a recent study has shown.
The study included 1,549 PTC patients (mean age, 50.7±9.4 years; 80.6 percent female), from whom weight information at 18 years of age were obtained through an in-person interview with a structured questionnaire. Current weight measurements were also collected. Researchers also included 15,490 no-PTC controls (mean age, 50.8±9.1 years; 80.6 percent female) for comparison.
Having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25.0 kg/m2 at age 18 years emerged as a significant risk factor of PTC in adulthood after controlling for potential confounders (odds ratio [OR], 4.31, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 3.57–5.22). This was relative to BMI <23.0 kg/m2 in adolescence.
Stratified analyses according to sex showed a stronger effect for men (OR, 6.65, 95 percent CI, 4.76–9.27), though the influence of BMI on PTC risk remained significant in women, too (OR, 3.49, 95 percent CI, 2.74–4.43).
Similarly, analysis according to current BMI showed no potential effect modification. High BMI at 18 years of age was predictive of adulthood PTC in the subgroups of patients with current BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (OR, 8.21, 95 percent CI, 6.34–10.62) and <25.0 kg/m2 (OR, 2.21, 95 percent CI, 1.49–3.27). The difference in the magnitude of effect was statistically significant (p<0.01).
“The results of the present study provide additional evidence that public health concerns and policy intervention are needed for weight management in adolescence to decrease the PTC risk,” the researchers said.