Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 1199–1210 | Cite as

Association between vitamin D deficiency and risk of thyroid cancer: a case–control study and a meta-analysis

  • M.-J. Hu
  • Q. Zhang
  • L. Liang
  • S.-Y. Wang
  • X.-C. Zheng
  • M.-M. Zhou
  • Y.-W. Yang
  • Q. Zhong
  • F. HuangEmail author
Original Article



Although vitamin D is reportedly associated with various cancers, the association between vitamin D and thyroid cancer is indefinite. We aimed to investigate whether this association applies to thyroid cancer (TC).


A total of 276 Chinese Han people were recruited in a current matched case–control study. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was computed to estimate the association between plasma 25(OH)D and papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). In addition, we searched relevant studies in PubMed and Web of Science databases before December 2017 to conduct a meta-analysis.


In our case–control study, plasma 25(OH)D concentration was inversely associated with PTC risk (highest tertile vs lowest tertile: adjusted OR = 0.25; 95% CI 0.10, 0.61; Ptrend = 0.003). This association was independent of body mass index and physical activity (all adjusted Pinteraction > 0.05). A total of 11 studies were included in the meta-analysis, among which ten studies have been published and one was our case–control study. Compared with 25(OH)D non-deficient group, the pooled OR of TC was 1.42 (95% CI 1.17, 1.73) in the deficient group. Similarly, blood 25(OH)D levels in patients with TC were tend to be lower than those in the controls (SMD = − 0.20, 95% CI − 0.36, − 0.03).


A high level of circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a decreased TC risk. This association has important significance in public health and should, therefore, be further studied.


Thyroid cancer Vitamin D Risk factor Prevention Chinese Han people 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81373071) and the Project for Anhui Province Academic Technology Leader Reserve Candidates’ Academic Research Activities (2017H108).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Anhui Medical University Biomedical Ethics Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40618_2018_853_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)
40618_2018_853_MOESM2_ESM.tif (921 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 The funnel plots of meta-analysis for 25(OH)D levels and thyroid cancer. The 25(OH)D levels were modeled as binary variable (a) and continuous variable (b) (TIFF 921 kb)


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Head and Neck, Breast SurgeryAnhui Provincial Cancer HospitalHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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