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Occupation and Thyroid Cancer: A Population-Based, Case-Control Study in Connecticut

Ba, Yue PhD; Huang, Huang MPH; Lerro, Catherine C. MPH; Li, Shuzhen PhD; Zhao, Nan MD; Li, Anqi MD; Ma, Shuangge PhD; Udelsman, Robert MD; Zhang, Yawei PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 3 - p 299–305
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000637

Objective: The study aims to explore the associations between various occupations and thyroid cancer risk.

Methods: A population-based, case-control study involving 462 histologically confirmed incident cases and 498 controls was conducted in Connecticut in 2010 to 2011.

Results: A significantly increased risk of thyroid cancer, particularly papillary microcarcinoma, was observed for those working as the health care practitioners and technical workers, health diagnosing and treating practitioners, and registered nurses. Those working in building and grounds cleaning, maintenance occupations, pest control, retail sales, and customer service also had increased risk for papillary thyroid cancer. Subjects who worked as cooks, janitors, cleaners, and customer service representatives were at an increased risk of papillary thyroid cancer with tumor size more than 1 cm.

Conclusion: Certain occupations were associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer, with some tumor size and subtype specificity.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, China (Dr Ba); Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut (Ms Huang, Ms Lerro, Drs Li S, Zhao, Zhang); The First Hospital, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan (Dr Li S); Department of Clinical Medicine, Zhengzhou University, China (Dr Li A); Department of Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health (Dr Ma); Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital (Dr Udelsman); and Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (Drs Ma, Udelsman, Zhang).

Address correspondence to: Dr Yawei Zhang, PhD, 60 College Street LEPH 440, New Haven, CT 06520 (

This research was supported by the American Cancer Society (ACS) grant RSGM-10-038-01-CCE and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R01ES020361.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Certain data used in this study were obtained from the Connecticut Tumor Registry located in the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The authors assume full responsibility for analyses and interpretation of these data. The cooperation of the Connecticut hospitals, including Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Danbury Hospital, Hartford Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Hospital of Central Connecticut, Yale/New Haven Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, St. Mary's Hospital, Hospital of St. Raphael, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Stamford Hospital, William W. Backus Hospital, Windham Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Griffin Hospital, Bristol Hospital, Johnson Memorial Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, MidState Medical Center, John Dempsey Hospital and Waterbury Hospital, in allowing patient access, is gratefully acknowledged. Rajni Mehta from the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center's RCA provided great help with both IRB approvals and field implementation of the study. Helen Sayward, Anna Florczak, and Renee Capasso from the Yale School of Public Health did exceptional work with study subject recruitment.

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Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine