Recreational Physical Activity and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Risk: A Pooled Analysis of Two Case-Control Studies

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Abstract

Purpose:

Physical activity has been hypothesized to influence cancer occurrence through several mechanisms. To date, its relation with thyroid cancer risk has been examined in relatively few studies. We pooled 2 case-control studies conducted in Cuba and Eastern France to assess the relationship between self-reported practice of recreational physical activity since childhood and thyroid cancer risk.

Methods:

This pooled study included 1,008 cases of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) matched with 1,088 controls (age range 9-35 and 17-60 years in the French and Cuban studies, respectively). Risk factors associated with the practice of recreational physical activity were estimated using OR and 95% CI. Logistic regressions were stratified by age class, country, and gender and were adjusted for ethnic group, level of education, number of pregnancies for women, height, BMI, and smoking status.

Results:

Overall, the risk of thyroid cancer was slightly reduced among subjects who reported recreational physical activity (OR = 0.8; 95% CI 0.5-1.0). The weekly frequency (i.e. h/week) seems to be more relevant than the duration (years).

Conclusion:

Long-term recreational physical activity, practiced since childhood, may reduce the DTC risk. However, the mechanisms whereby the DTC risk decreases are not yet entirely clear.

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