Association of exposure to multiple metals with papillary thyroid cancer risk in China.


Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, 218 Jixi Road, Shushan District, Hefei, 230032, Anhui, People's Republic of China. [Email]


Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has inflicted huge threats to the health of mankind. Metal pollution could be a potential risk factor of PTC occurrence, but existing relevant epidemiological researches are limited. The current case-control study was designed to evaluate the relationships between exposure to multiple metals and the risk of PTC. A total of 262 histologically confirmed PTC cases were recruited. Age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled at the same time. Urine samples were used as biomarkers to reflect the levels of environmental exposure to 13 metals. Conditional logistic regression models were adopted to assess the potential association. Single-metal and multi-metal models were separately conducted to evaluate the impacts of single and co-exposure to 13 metals. The increased concentration of urinary Cd, Cu, Fe, and Pb quartiles was found significant correlated with PTC risk. We also found the decreased trends of urinary Se, Zn, and Mn quartiles with the ORs for PTC. These dose-response associations between Pb and PTC were observed in the single-metal model and remained significant in the multi-metal model (OR25-50th=1.39, OR50-75th=3.32, OR>75th=7.62, p for trend <0.001). Our study suggested that PTC was positively associated with urinary levels of Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, and inversely associated with Se, Zn, and Mn. Targeted public health policies should be made to improve the environment and the recognition of potential risk factors. These findings need additional studies to confirm in other population.


Environmental exposure,Heavy metals,Papillary thyroid cancer,Urine,