Factors associated with elevated serum concentrations of anti-TPO antibodies in subjects with and without diffuse goitre. Results from the Ukrainian-American Cohort Study of thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases following the Chornobyl accident

Robert J McConnell, Alina V Brenner, Valery A Oliynyk, Jacob Robbins, Galyna M Terekhova, Daniel J Fink, Ovsiy V Epshtein, Maureen Hatch, Victor M Shpak, A Bertrand Brill, Yevgeniy A Shelkovoy, Lydia B Zablotska, Ihor J Masnyk, Geoffrey R Howe, Mykola D Tronko
Clinical Endocrinology 2007, 67 (6): 879-90

OBJECTIVES: To examine factors associated with the prevalence of elevated anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (ATPO) among iodine-deficient adolescents and young adults and test whether associations vary according to the presence of diffuse goitre.

DESIGN: Subjects were members of the Ukrainian-American Cohort Study exposed to the Chornobyl accident whose (131)I thyroid dose estimates were below 0.2 Gy.

MEASUREMENTS: The odds ratios (ORs) for ATPO above 60 U/ml were estimated using logistic regression models for a number of factors in the total population (N = 5133), and separately for thyroid disease-free subjects (N = 3875), those with diffuse goitre (N = 921), and diffuse goitre without autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT; N = 883).

RESULTS: Elevated ATPO was found in 9.9% of the total population and ORs were significantly higher in females, older individuals, those examined in earlier calendar years, residents of Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts, subjects with a family history of thyroid disease, higher thyroid ultrasound volume, suppressed or elevated TSH, blood collection in March to May, very low thyroglobulin (Tg), and shorter serum storage time. When thyroid disease-free subjects and those with diffuse goitre were compared, there were few differences in antibody prevalence, and after excluding individuals with AIT, the only difference was an increased prevalence of elevated ATPO at low urinary iodine in those with goitre alone.

CONCLUSIONS: Although a number of factors are associated with the prevalence of elevated ATPO in our study group, with the exception of urinary iodine these factors are independent of goitre, and differences between thyroid disease-free subjects and those with diffuse goitre are largely due to AIT.

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