Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 1183–1192

Role of dietary iodine and cruciferous vegetables in thyroid cancer: a countrywide case–control study in New Caledonia

  • Thérèse Truong
  • Dominique Baron-Dubourdieu
  • Yannick Rougier
  • Pascal Guénel
Original paper


Exceptionally high incidence rates of thyroid cancer have been reported in New Caledonia, particularly in Melanesian women. To clarify the reasons of this elevated incidence, we conducted a countrywide population-based case–control study in the multiethnic population of Caledonian women. The study included 293 cases of thyroid cancer and 354 population controls. Based on a food frequency questionnaire, we investigated the role in thyroid cancer of food items rich in iodine—such as seafood—and of vegetables containing goitrogens—such as cruciferous vegetables. A measure of total daily iodine intake based on a food composition table was also used. Our findings provided little support for an association between thyroid cancer and consumption of fish and seafood. We found that high consumption of cruciferous vegetables was associated with thyroid cancer among women with low iodine intake (OR = 1.86; 95% CI: 1.01–3.43 for iodine intake <96 μg/day). The high consumption of cruciferous vegetables among Melanesian women, a group with mild iodine deficiency, may contribute to explain the exceptionally high incidence of thyroid cancer in this group.


Case–control study Diet Iodine New Caledonia Thyroid neoplasms 



Confidence intervals


Odds ratio


Thyroid stimulating hormone


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thérèse Truong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dominique Baron-Dubourdieu
    • 3
  • Yannick Rougier
    • 4
  • Pascal Guénel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Epidemiology of Cancer, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population HealthU1018, InsermVillejuif CedexFrance
  2. 2.University Paris-Sud, UMRS 1018VillejuifFrance
  3. 3.Laboratory of Anatomy and CytopathologyNouméaNew Caledonia
  4. 4.Pasteur Institute of New CaledoniaNouméaNew Caledonia

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