Risk factors for medullary thyroid carcinoma: A pooled analysis

Eva Negri, Elaine Ron, Silvia Franceschi, Carlo La Vecchia, Susan Preston-Martin, Laurence Kolonel, Ruth A. Kleinerman, Kiyohiko Mabuchi, Fan Jin, Gun Wingren, Arne Hallquist, Fabio Levi, Athena Linos, Joseph F. Fraumeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate risk factors for medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Methods: We conducted a pooled analysis of 14 case-control studies from Europe, North America, and Asia, including 67 medullary cancers (43 women and 24 men) diagnosed in ten studies. Of the original 4776, we selected five controls per case matched on study, gender, and age. The pooled odds ratios (OR) were estimated using conditional logistic regression. Results: Education, weight, and body mass were not associated with MTC, but a significant positive relationship was seen with height (OR = 2.6 for highest vs lowest tertile). Significant excess risks were associated with a history of thyroid nodules (OR = 12), hypertension (OR = 2.3), gallbladder disease (OR = 4.3), and allergies (OR = 2.2). Among current smokers, a decreased risk of MTC was observed with increasing number of cigarettes. The risk was significantly elevated among women having a first birth after age 25 years, but no clear pattern emerged for other reproductive factors. Conclusions: Although the number of MTC was small, we detected several significant associations, including prior thyroid and other diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-372
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Case-control studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Cancer Research


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