Diabetes, diabetes treatment, and risk of thyroid cancer
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the relationships among diabetes, diabetes treatment and thyroid cancer risk using a large prospective cohort, the Women's Health Initiative. METHODS: A total of 147 934 women who were free of known cancer at baseline were followed prospectively. Diabetes status and diabetes treatment at baseline and during follow-up were ascertained. Incident cases of thyroid cancers were confirmed by physician review of central medical records and pathology reports. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards regressions were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for thyroid cancer risk associated with diabetes status, diabetes treatment, and duration of diabetes. RESULTS: With a median follow-up time of 15.9 years, 391 incident thyroid cancers were identified. We found no significant associations between thyroid cancer and diabetes (hazard ratio = 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.52), diabetes treatment, or duration of diabetes. CONCLUSION: Our findings do not support the hypothesis that diabetes, or treatment of diabetes is associated with risk of thyroid cancer among postmenopausal women. Studies to investigate the specific effects of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance on thyroid cancer risk may provide additional information.