A study published online in the journal PLOS ONE found high rates for thyroid cancer and high levels of chronic thyroid disease among Chinese people.
The study analyzed data from more than 1.4 million people in the Guangzhou, China, metropolitan area from 1996 to 2014.
The findings suggest that the risk of thyroid cancers in Chinese is very high and that the prevalence of thyroid disorders is high.
Researchers found that, on average, Chinese people have more than 50% more thyroid cancer than the US, with almost 30% of the Chinese population having a history of thyroid diseases.
About 35% of Chinese people had a history at least three times in their lifetime, the study found.
The highest rate of thyroid disease was seen in the city of Beijing.
In addition, there was an average of three thyroid cancers per person per year in Beijing, with more than two cases per person in each of the city’s 10 metro areas.
The researchers also found that the rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare but fatal cancer that affects the lymphatic system, were higher in China than in the US.
The rate of non, or chronic, thyroid disease also was higher in Beijing than in other parts of China.
“Our study shows that thyroid cancer incidence and prevalence are higher in the Chinese than the Western world,” said lead study author Zhang Jinyan, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the China National University of Health Sciences.
More than one in three Chinese people will experience a thyroid problem at some point in their lives, according to the World Health Organization.
The US has the highest thyroid cancer rates in the world, but in recent years, the number of US cases has declined in comparison to China.
The number of noncases is about 5,000 per year.
Dr. Zhang noted that the Chinese data may not be representative of the US population.
The authors did not have information about thyroid disease and other conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or cancer.
The results of the study were based on data from China from 1996 through 2014.
China’s thyroid cancer rate has been steadily increasing in recent decades, and the new study raises concerns about the country’s potential health risks, said Dr. Zhang.