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Thyroid Function in Health Care Workers Exposed to Ionizing Radiation

Luna-Sánchez, Shirley1; del Campo, MT1; Morán, Julio Valverde2; Fernández, Ignacio Mahillo3; Checa, Fernando José Sancho1; de la Hoz, Rafael E.4

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001071

Objectives To analyze possible alterations of thyroid function related to dosimetric values in health care workers exposed to ionizing radiation.

Materials and Methods Forty-six health care workers exposed to ionizing radiation at a tertiary hospital previously exposed to ionizing radiation were included in the study. Age, sex, history of thyroid diseases, thyroid hormones, work post, service, dosimetric values of previous year, and 5 y period were considered. Alterations of thyroid function and other variables were analyzed by exact logistic regression univariate model.

Results 7.1% workers showed an increased serum thyroid-stimulating hormone without free T3 or free T4 alteration. A significant relationship between workers with increased thyroid-stimulating hormone and dosimetric values of previous year (odds ratio 6.35, 95% confidence interval 1.20–98.1, p = 0.021) and previous 5 y period of radiation exposure (odds ratio 1.72, 95% confidence interval 1.12–3.34, p = 0.007) was obtained.

Conclusion An increased risk of subclinical hypothyroidism related to radiation doses was observed in this pilot study on a group of health care workers exposed to ionizing radiation.

1Occupational Health and Prevention Department, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

2Radiological Protection Service, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

3Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Research Institute of Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

4Occupational Medicine and Medicine Divisions, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact Shirley Luna-Sánchez, Servicio de Salud Laboral y Prevención, Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Avenida de los Reyes Católicos 2, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 31 December 2018)

Online date: March 26, 2019

© 2019 by the Health Physics Society