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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

The correlation between small papillary thyroid cancers and gamma radionuclides Cs-137, Th-232, U-238 and K-40 using spatially-explicit, register-based methods

Bayadsi, Haytham; Van Den Brink, Paul; Erlandsson, Marten; Gudbjornsdottir, Soffia; Sebraoui, Samy; Koorem, Sofi; Nordin, Par; Hennings, Joakim; Englund, Oskar


A steep increase of small papillary thyroid cancers (sPTCs) has been observed globally. A major risk factor for developing PTC is ionizing radiation. The aim of this study is to investigate the spatial distribution of sPTC in Sweden and the extent to which prevalence is correlated to gamma radiation levels (Caesium-137 (Cs-137), Thorium-232 (Th-232), Uranium-238 (U-238) and Potassium-40 (K-40)) using multiple geospatial and geo-statistical methods. The prevalence of metastatic sPTC was associated with significantly higher levels of Gamma radiation from Th-232, U-238 and K-40. The association is, however, inconsistent and the prevalence is higher in densely populated areas. The results clearly indicate that sPTC has causative factors that are neither evenly distributed among the population, nor geographically, calling for further studies with bigger cohorts. Environ-mental factors are believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of the disease.


Papillary thyroid cancer; Radiation; Geographic information system (GIS); Spatial analysis

Published in

Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
2023, Volume: 47, article number: 100618Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences
    Environmental Health and Occupational Health

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