Background: Thyroid diseases occur more frequently in people exposed to ionizing radiation, but the relationship between occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and thyroid pathologies still remains unclear. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of thyroid diseases in healthcare workers exposed to low-level ionizing radiation compared with a control group working at the University Hospital of Bari, Southern Italy, and living in the same geographical area, characterized by mild iodine deficiency. Method: We ran a cross-sectional study to investigate whether healthcare workers exposed to ionizing radiation had a higher prevalence of thyroid diseases. Four hundred and forty-four exposed healthcare workers (241 more exposed, or “A Category”, and 203 less exposed, or “B Category”) and 614 nonexposed healthcare workers were enrolled during a routine examination at the Occupational Health Unit. They were asked to fill in an anamnestic questionnaire and undergo a physical examination, serum determination of fT3, fT4 and TSH, anti-TPO ab and anti-TG ab and ultrasound neck scan. Thyroid nodules were submitted to fine needle aspiration biopsy when indicated. Results: The prevalence of thyroid diseases was statistically higher in the exposed workers compared to controls (40% vs 29%, adPR 1.65; IC95% 1.34-2.07). In particular, the thyroid nodularity prevalence in the exposed group was approximately twice as high as that in the controls (29% vs 13%; adPR 2.83; IC95% 2.12-3.8). No statistically significant association was found between exposure to ionizing radiation and other thyroid diseases. Conclusion: In our study, mild ionizing radiation-exposed healthcare workers had a statistically higher prevalence of thyroid diseases than the control group. The results are likely due to a closer and more meticulous health surveillance programme carried out in the ionising radiation-exposed workers, allowing them to identify thyroid alterations earlier than non-exposed health staff.

Prevalence of Thyroid Diseases in an Occupationally Radiation Exposed Group: a Cross-Sectional Study in a University Hospital of Southern Italy

Vimercati, Luigi;De Maria, Luigi;Mansi, Francesca;Caputi, Antonio;Ferri, Giovanni Maria;Lovreglio, Piero;Cannone, Enza Sabrina Silvana;Gatti, Maria Franca;Triggiani, Vincenzo
2019

Abstract

Background: Thyroid diseases occur more frequently in people exposed to ionizing radiation, but the relationship between occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and thyroid pathologies still remains unclear. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of thyroid diseases in healthcare workers exposed to low-level ionizing radiation compared with a control group working at the University Hospital of Bari, Southern Italy, and living in the same geographical area, characterized by mild iodine deficiency. Method: We ran a cross-sectional study to investigate whether healthcare workers exposed to ionizing radiation had a higher prevalence of thyroid diseases. Four hundred and forty-four exposed healthcare workers (241 more exposed, or “A Category”, and 203 less exposed, or “B Category”) and 614 nonexposed healthcare workers were enrolled during a routine examination at the Occupational Health Unit. They were asked to fill in an anamnestic questionnaire and undergo a physical examination, serum determination of fT3, fT4 and TSH, anti-TPO ab and anti-TG ab and ultrasound neck scan. Thyroid nodules were submitted to fine needle aspiration biopsy when indicated. Results: The prevalence of thyroid diseases was statistically higher in the exposed workers compared to controls (40% vs 29%, adPR 1.65; IC95% 1.34-2.07). In particular, the thyroid nodularity prevalence in the exposed group was approximately twice as high as that in the controls (29% vs 13%; adPR 2.83; IC95% 2.12-3.8). No statistically significant association was found between exposure to ionizing radiation and other thyroid diseases. Conclusion: In our study, mild ionizing radiation-exposed healthcare workers had a statistically higher prevalence of thyroid diseases than the control group. The results are likely due to a closer and more meticulous health surveillance programme carried out in the ionising radiation-exposed workers, allowing them to identify thyroid alterations earlier than non-exposed health staff.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/236751
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