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Toxics 2018, 6(1), 17; doi:10.3390/toxics6010017

County-Level Radon and Incidence of Female Thyroid Cancer in Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, USA

1
Hampton Bays High School, Hampton Bays, NY 11946, USA
2
Program in Public Health, Department of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract

Background: Few studies have investigated the association between radon and thyroid cancer despite the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radiation. Our goal is to investigate the association between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in the US States of Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Methods: Thyroid cancer incidence data were provided by individual state cancer registries and span 1990–2013. Radon data come from a publicly available third-party database, AirChek, accessed in 2017. We tabulated the percent of radon above four picocuries per liter and the female thyroid cancer incidence rate in each county. Quantile maps were constructed, and an ordinary least-squares regression model was run using Geoda 1.10.0.8 (Chicago, IL, USA). Results: No association was observed between county-level radon and incidence of female thyroid cancer in any of the States: New Jersey (β = 0.06, p = 0.23); Iowa (β = −0.07, p = 0.07); or Wisconsin (β = −0.01, p = 0.78). A spatial regression model was considered, but the Moran’s I of the residuals from each of the models was not significant, so no spatial term was required. Discussion: In this county-level ecological study across three different States in the US, we did not find an association between elevated radon and thyroid cancer incidence in women. While this ecologic study reports null findings, due to the ecologic fallacy, individual-level studies of this association may still be warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: radon; thyroid; cancer; incidence; spatial; maps radon; thyroid; cancer; incidence; spatial; maps
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Oakland, C.; Meliker, J.R. County-Level Radon and Incidence of Female Thyroid Cancer in Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, USA. Toxics 2018, 6, 17.

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