Global burden of thyroid cancer is increasing

There is an increasing global burden of thyroid cancer, according to a study published online June 26 in JAMA Network Open.

YuJiao Deng, Ph.D., from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University Hangzhou, China, and colleagues used data from the Global Health Data Exchange query tool (195 countries and 21 regions from 1990 through 2017) in order to examine trends in burden of thyroid cancer.

The researchers found that during the study period, there were increases of thyroid cancer incident cases (169 percent), deaths (87 percent), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs; 75 percent). When standardizing for age, incidence rate showed an upward trend over time, with an estimated annual percentage change of 1.59. Southern and Eastern Asia accounted for almost half of the thyroid cancer burden. Females accounted for the majority of the thyroid cancer burden (70.22 percent for incidence, 58.39 percent for deaths, and 58.68 percent for DALYs). Just over one-third (34 percent) of patients with thyroid cancer lived in countries with a high sociodemographic index and most patients were aged 50 to 69 years. For women, the most common age at onset of thyroid cancer worldwide was 15 to 49 years versus 50 to 69 years in men. However, death from thyroid cancer was concentrated in those ≥70 years and increased by years (average annual percentage change, 0.10).

“The age-standardized death rate and age-standardized DALY rate in thyroid cancer decreased, which may be associated with improvement in therapeutic approaches,” the authors write.