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Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322


CAMARGO, Rosalinda Y. A. et al. Prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in the urban area neighboring a petrochemical complex and a control area in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Clinics [online]. 2006, vol.61, n.4, pp.307-312. ISSN 1980-5322.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in 2 urban areas of metropolitan São Paulo (Brazil): Polo Area neighboring a large petrochemical complex and São Bernardo Campo Area (control area). SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Subjects were randomly included from the adult population (20 to 70 years of age) of both genders (women 80%, men 20%) who voluntarily agreed to participate. From the Polo Area, in the vicinity of a large petrochemical industrial complex, 409 subjects were included; from the control area (São Bernardo Campo Area) 420 individuals were included. All subjects were clinically examined, and a detailed record of past thyroid illness and medications was obtained. Ultrasonographic studies were performed using a portable GE Medical Systems apparatus. Blood samples were obtained for free T4, serum TSH, and serum anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies. Urine specimens were collected in Monovette syringes for assaying iodine content. Salt samples were collected at households, and the iodine content was measured. RESULTS: Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed both echographically (marked hypoechogenicity) and immunologically (presence of autoantibodies against thyroid peroxidase). In the Polo Area, 15.6% of the examined population had chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and in the control area (São Bernardo Campo Area), 19.5% of the population had evidence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (P > 0.057, not significant). The prevalence of hypothyroidism was 4.9% in the Polo Area and 8.3% in the São Bernardo Campo Area (P = 0.0461 significant). Taking the 2 populations together, 6.6% had hypothyroidism (about one third of these patients were on L-T4 treatment). The mean thyroid volume was 11.2 mL. Domestic salt had a normal concentration of iodine (35.5 + 6.61 mg/kg). Urinary excretion of iodine was above 300 µg Iodine/L in 58.5% of the total population. CONCLUSION: The high iodine intake (above 300 µg Iodine/L of urine) that was present from 1998 through 2005 may be related to a higher prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in both areas that were studied. There was no apparent or documented relationship of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence to the proximity to the petrochemical complex.

Keywords : Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; Iodine Intake; Autoimmune Disease; Hypothyroidism; Thyroid Antibodies; Petrochemical Pollutants.

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