Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths of thyroid cells that form lumps within the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules occur in up to 50% of people and are more common in the older population. The risk of a nodule being a thyroid cancer is ~5-8% overall, although some studies suggest the risk is higher in young people. However, more data are needed to determine the risk of cancer in thyroid nodules in older patients. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of patient age on the formation of thyroid nodules and on the risk that these nodules may prove cancerous.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Kwong N et al. The influence of patient age on thyroid nodule formation, multinodularity, and thyroid cancer risk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. October 14, 2015 [Epub ahead of print].
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
A total of 6391 patients (ages 20-95) who were evaluated at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Thyroid Nodule Clinic between 1995 and 2011 were included in the study. The patients were grouped into six age groups (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, ≥70 years old). All these patients had a thyroid ultrasound and a thyroid biopsy was performed in all solid thyroid nodules >1cm.