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Open access

Michael B Zimmermann and Maria Andersson

Iodine deficiency has multiple adverse effects on growth and development. Diets in many countries cannot provide adequate iodine without iodine fortification of salt. In 2020, 124 countries have legislation for mandatory salt iodization and 21 have legislation allowing voluntary iodization; as a result, 88% of the global population uses iodized salt. For population surveys, the urinary iodine concentration (UIC) should be measured and expressed as the median, in μg/L. The quality of available survey data is high: UIC surveys have been done in 152 out of 194 countries in the past 15 years; in 132 countries the studies were nationally representative. The number of countries with adequate iodine intake has nearly doubled from 67 in 2003 to 118 in 2020. However, 21 countries remain deficient, while 13 countries have excessive intakes, either due to excess groundwater iodine, or over-iodized salt. Iodine programs are reaching the poorest of the poor: of the 15 poorest countries in the world, 10 are iodine sufficient and only three (Burundi, Mozambique and Madagascar) remain mild-to-moderately deficient. Nigeria and India have unstable food systems and millions of malnourished children, but both are iodine sufficient and population coverage with iodized salt is a remarkable 93% in both. Once entrenched, iodine programs are often surprisingly durable even during national crises; for example, war-torn Afghanistan and Yemen are iodine sufficient. However, equity of iodized salt programs within countries remains an important issue. In summary, continued support of iodine programs is needed to sustain these remarkable global achievements, and to reach the remaining iodine-deficient countries.

Restricted access

C Saïe, J Wassermann, E Mathy, N Chereau, L Leenhardt, S Tezenas du Montcel, and C Buffet

Objective

The objectives of our study were to analyze the influence of age on the survival of patients with RAIR-DTC and to determine their prognostic factors according to age.

Methods

This single-center, retrospective study enrolled 155 patients diagnosed with RAIR-DTC. The primary end point was overall survival (OS) according to different cutoff (45, 55, 65, 75 years). Secondary endpoints were progression free survival (PFS) and prognostic factors in patients under and over 65 years.

Results

Median OS after RAIR diagnosis was 8.2 years (95% IC: 5.3–9.6). There was no difference according to age with a 65 (P = 0.47) and 55 years old cutoff (P = 0.28). Median OS improved significantly before 45 years old (P = 0.0043). After 75 years old, median OS significantly decreased (P = 0.0008). Median PFS was 2.1 years (95% CI: 0.8–3) in patients < 65 years old, and 1 year in patients ≥ 65 years old (95% CI: 0.8–1.55) with no statistical difference (P = 0.22). There was no impact of age on PFS with any cutoff. In both groups, progressive disease despite 131I treatment reduced OS. In patients < 65 years old, an interval of less than 3 years between the initial diagnosis and the diagnosis of RAIR metastatic disease was predictive of poor survival. In patients > 65 years old, the presence of a mediastinum metastasis was a significant factor for mortality (HR: 4.55, 95% CI: 2.27–9.09).

Conclusion

In RAIR-DTC patients, a cut-off age of 65 years old was not a significant predictive factor of survival. Forty-five and 75-years-old cutoff were predictive for OS but not PFS.

Free access

Alexander A Leung, Martin D Hyrcza, Janice L Pasieka, and Gregory A Kline

Open access

Anuradhaa Subramanian, Astha Anand, Nicola J Adderley, Kelvin Okoth, Konstantinos A Toulis, Krishna Gokhale, Christopher Sainsbury, Michael W O’Reilly, Wiebke Arlt, and Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar

Objective

Several recent observational studies have linked metabolic comorbidities to an increased risk from COVID-19. Here we investigated whether women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

Design

Population-based closed cohort study between 31 January 2020 and 22 July 2020 in the setting of a UK primary care database (The Health Improvement Network, THIN).

Methods

The main outcome was the incidence of COVID-19 coded as suspected or confirmed by the primary care provider. We used Cox proportional hazards regression model with stepwise inclusion of explanatory variables (age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation, androgen excess, anovulation, vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease) to provide unadjusted and adjusted hazard risks (HR) of COVID-19 infection among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS.

Results

We identified 21 292 women with a coded diagnosis of PCO/PCOS and randomly selected 78 310 aged and general practice matched control women. The crude COVID-19 incidence was 18.1 and 11.9 per 1000 person-years among women with and without PCOS, respectively. Age-adjusted Cox regression analysis suggested a 51% higher risk of COVID-19 among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS (HR: 1.51 (95% CI: 1.27–1.80), P < 0.001). After adjusting for age and BMI, HR reduced to 1.36 (1.14–1.63)], P = 0.001. In the fully adjusted model, women with PCOS had a 28% increased risk of COVID-19 (aHR: 1.28 (1.05–1.56), P = 0.015).

Conclusion

Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and should be specifically encouraged to adhere to infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significance statement

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardio-metabolic disease, which have been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19. To investigate whether the increased metabolic risk in PCOS translates into an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, we carried out a population-based closed cohort study in the UK during its first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (January to July 2020), including 21 292 women with PCOS and 78 310 controls matched for sex, age and general practice location. Results revealed a 52% increased risk of COVID-19 infection in women with PCOS, which remained increased at 28% above controls after adjustment for age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation and other explanatory variables.

Free access

Elena V Varlamov, Fabienne Langlois, Greisa Vila, and Maria Fleseriu

Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is associated with increased mortality that is driven by cardiovascular, thromboembolic, and infection complications. Although these events are expected to decrease during disease remission, incidence often transiently increases postoperatively and is not completely normalized in the long-term. It is important to diagnose and treat cardiovascular, thromboembolic, and infection complications concomitantly with CS treatment. Management of hyperglycemia/diabetes, hypertension, hypokalemia, hyperlipidemia, and other cardiovascular risk factors is generally undertaken in accordance with clinical care standards. Medical therapy for CS may be needed even prior to surgery in severe and/or prolonged hypercortisolism, and treatment adjustments can be made based on disease pathophysiology and drug-drug interactions. Thromboprophylaxis should be considered for CS patients with severe hypercortisolism and/or postoperatively, based on individual risk factors of thromboembolism and bleeding. Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis should be considered for patients with high urinary free cortisol at the initiation of hypercortisolism treatment.

Open access

Radu Mihai and Rajesh V Thakker

Background

Permanent postsurgical hypoparathyroidism (POSH) is a major complication of anterior neck surgery in general and of thyroid surgery in particular. Depending on diagnostic criteria, up to 10% of patients undergoing bilateral thyroid surgery develop POSH. This leads to a multitude of symptoms that decrease the quality of life and burden the healthcare provision through complex needs for medication and treatment of specific complications, such as seizures and laryngospasm.

Methods

Narrative review of current medical treatments for POSH and of the experience accumulated with parathyroid allotransplantation.

Results

In most patients, POSH is controlled with regular use of calcium supplements and active vitamin D analogues but a significant proportion of patients continue to experience severe symptoms requiring repeated emergency admissions. Replacement therapy with synthetic PTH compounds (PTH1-34, Natpara® and PTH1-84, teriparatide, Forsteo®) has been assessed in multicentre trials, but the use of this medication is restricted by costs and concerns related to the risk of development of osteosarcoma. Based on recent case reports of successful allotransplantation of parathyroid tissue between siblings, there is renewed interest in this technique. Data on selection of donors, parathyroid cell preparation before allotransplantation, site and timing of transplantation, need for immunosuppression and long-term outcomes are reviewed.

Conclusion

A prospective trial to assess the efficacy of parathyroid allotransplantation in patients with severely symptomatic protracted post-surgical hypoparathyroidism is warranted.

Free access

David P Sonne

During the last decades, it has become clear that the gastrointestinal tract plays a pivotal role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. More than 40 hormones originate from the gastrointestinal tract and several of these impact glucose metabolism and appetite regulation. An astonishing example of the gut’s integrative role in glucose metabolism originates from investigations into bile acid biology. From primary animal studies, it has become clear that bile acids should no longer be labelled as simple detergents necessary for lipid digestion and absorption but should also be recognised as metabolic regulators implicated in lipid, glucose and energy metabolism. The nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a part of an exquisite bile acid-sensing system that among other things ensures the optimal size of the bile acid pool. In addition, intestinal and hepatic FXR also impact the regulation of several metabolic processes such as glucose and lipid metabolism. Accordingly, natural and synthetic FXR agonists and certain FXR-regulated factors (i.e. fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19)) are increasingly being evaluated as treatments for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (and its inflammatory version, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). Interestingly, decreased FXR activation also benefits glucose metabolism. This can be obtained by reducing bile acid absorption using bile acid sequestering agents (approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes) or inhibitors of intestinal bile acid transporters,that is the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). This article discusses recent clinical trials that provide insights about the role of FXR-FGF19-targetted therapy for the treatment of metabolic diseases.

Restricted access

A Rozenbaum, C Buffet, C Bigorgne, B Royer, A Rouxel, M Bienvenu, N Chereau, F Menegaux, L Leenhardt, and G Russ

Objective

Active surveillance of cytologically proven microcarcinomas has been shown as a safe procedure. However, fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is not recommended by European Thyroid Association (ETA) and American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines for highly suspicious nodules ≤ 10 mm. The aim of the study was to assess the outcomes of active surveillance of EU-TIRADS 5 nodules ≤ 10 mm not initially submitted to FNAB.

Patients and methods

80 patients with at least one EU-TIRADS 5 nodule ≤ 10 mm and no suspicious lymph nodes, accepting active surveillance, were included.

Results

Mean baseline diameter and volume were 5.4 mm (±2.0) and 64.4 mm3 (±33.5), respectively. After a median follow-up of 36.1 months, a volumetric increase ≥ 50% occurred in 28 patients (35.0%) and a suspicious lymph node in 3 patients (3.8%). Twenty-four patients underwent an FNAB (30.0%) after at least a 1 year follow-up of which 45.8% were malignant, 8.3% benign, 33.3% undetermined and 8.3% nondiagnostic. Sixteen patients (20.0%) underwent conversion surgery after a median follow-up of 57.2 months, confirming the diagnosis of papillary carcinoma in 15/16 cases (not described in 1 histology report), all in remission at 6–12 months postoperative follow-up.

Conclusion

Applying ETA and ATA guidelines to avoid FNA of EU-TIRADS 5 sub-centimeter nodules and proceeding to active surveillance of such nodules in selected patients is a safe procedure. Thus, US-FNAB could be postponed until the nodule shows signs of progression or a suspicious lymph node appears, with no added risk for the patient.

Restricted access

Peter Breining, Steen B Pedersen, Mads Kjolby, Jacob B Hansen, Niels Jessen, and Bjørn Richelsen

Objective

Activation of brown adipose tissue is a promising strategy to treat and prevent obesity and obesity-related disorders. Activation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) leads to uncoupled respiration and dissipation of stored energy as heat. Induction of UCP1-rich adipocytes in white adipose tissue, a process known as ‘browning’, serves as an alternative strategy to increase whole body uncoupling capacity. Here, we aim to assess the association between parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor expression and UCP1 expression in human adipose tissues and to study PTH effects on human white and brown adipocyte lipolysis and UCP1 expression.

Design

A descriptive study of human neck adipose tissue biopsies substantiated by an interventional study on human neck-derived adipose tissue cell models.

Methods

Thermogenic markers and PTH receptor gene expression are assessed in human neck adipose tissue biopsies and are related to individual health records. PTH-initiated lipolysis and thermogenic gene induction are assessed in cultured human white and brown adipocyte cell models. PTH receptor involvement is investigated by PTH receptor silencing.

Results

PTH receptor gene expression correlates with UCP1 gene expression in the deep-neck adipose tissue in humans. In cell models, PTH receptor stimulation increases lipolysis and stimulates gene transcription of multiple thermogenic markers. Silencing of the PTH receptor attenuates the effects of PTH indicating a direct PTH effect via this receptor.

Conclusion

PTH 1 receptor stimulation by PTH may play a role in human adipose tissue metabolism by affecting lipolysis and thermogenic capacity.