Thyroid Cancer Incidence, Clinical Presentation, and Survival Among Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders

Peter K. Moon, Tatenda Chakoma, Yifei Ma, Uchechukwu C. Megwalu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the incidence, clinical presentation, and survival in Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (NHPI) patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer. Study Design: This population-based incidence analysis and retrospective cohort study utilized data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Setting: Incidence analysis included patients diagnosed between 1990 and 2014, while the cohort to study clinical presentation and survival comprised patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2015. Methods: Incidence rates and trends were compared among NHPI, Asian, and non-Hispanic White (NHW) populations. Clinical presentation was assessed via multivariable logistic regression. Survival was assessed per Cox regression. Results: Recent incidence trends (2009-2014) show that the rate of increase remained consistent among NHPI patients (annual percentage change, 3.67%; 95% CI, 2.66%-4.69%), while it slowed in the NHW population and plateaued among Asians as compared with previous years. NHPI patients were more likely to present with distant metastasis than NHW patients (odds ratio, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.97-5.36) and Asian patients (odds ratio, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.05-2.97). NHPI race was also associated with advanced T stage and nodal metastasis as compared with the NHW race. Survival outcomes were similar among NHPI, NHW, and Asian patients. Conclusion: Well-differentiated thyroid cancer incidence has increased at a higher rate for the NHPI population as opposed to the NHW and Asian populations in recent years. NHPI patients are more likely to present with advanced disease when compared with NHW and Asian patients. These results highlight the importance of disaggregating the often-combined Asian/Pacific Islander group in epidemiologic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
  • SEER
  • health disparities
  • thyroid cancer


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