Urinary Iodine and Genetic Predisposition to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in a Chinese Han Population: A Case-Control Study

Lu Li, Ying Xia Ying, Jun Liang, Hou Fa Geng, Qian Yue Zhang, Chang Run Zhang, Fu Xiang Chen, Yan Li, Yan Feng, Yan Wang, Huai Dong Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to examine the association of urinary iodine concentration with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) risk, and particularly, to investigate whether the HT-related genetic variations might modify the effects of urinary iodine on HT in the Chinese Han population. Methods: We conducted a case-control study with 1723 Chinese (731 cases, 992 controls). The associations between urinary iodine concentration and HT risk were analyzed using logistic regression models. The effects of interactions between the genetic risk scores (GRSs) and urinary iodine on HT risk were assessed by including the respective interaction terms in the models. We also applied restricted cubic spline regression to estimate the possible nonlinear relationship. The multinomial logistic regression models were performed to determine the associations of urinary iodine with euthyroid-HT and hypothyroidism-HT. Results: After controlling for potential confounders, the odds of HT increased with increasing quartiles of urinary iodine concentration: adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals [CIs] were 1.45 [1.06-1.99], 1.66 [1.17-2.34], and 2.07 [1.38-3.10] for the quartiles 2, 3, and 4, respectively, compared with the first quartile (p for trend <0.001). Multivariable restricted cubic spline regression analysis further demonstrated that there was a near-linear association between urinary iodine concentration and HT risk (p-overall <0.001; p-nonlinear = 0.074). However, we did not find significant interactions between urinary iodine and GRSs on the risk of HT (all p for interaction >0.05). Interestingly, we found that each increment of urinary iodine was associated with a more than twofold increase in the odds of hypothyroidism-HT (adjusted OR = 2.64 [CI = 1.73-4.05]), but not with euthyroid-HT (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Higher urinary iodine concentration was associated with increased risk of HT, and this association was near linear, indicating that increased urinary iodine has a continuous and graded impact on HT risk. Moreover, the iodine-HT association was not modified by genetic predisposition to HT. Interestingly, urinary iodine concentration was significantly associated with increased risk of hypothyroidism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1820-1830
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • genetic risk score
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • interaction
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • thyroid autoantibody
  • urinary iodine


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