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Environmental Issues and Thyroid Diseases (2017-09-19)

Environmental factors are determinant for the appearance of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) in susceptible subjects.
Environmental factors influence the occurrence of AITD of approximately 20%, as they are associated with the activation of innate immune response and AITD development in susceptible individuals.

Increased iodine intake, selenium, and vitamin D deficiency, exposure to radiation, from nuclear fallout or due to medical radiation, are environmental factors increasing AITD.

Cigarette smoking is associated with Gravesí disease and Gravesí ophthalmopathy, while it decreases the risk of hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity.

Viral infections are important environmental factors in the pathogenesis of AITD, too, particularly human parvovirus B19 (EVB19) and hepatitis C virus.

Among the many chemical contaminants, halogenated organochlorines and pesticides variably disrupt thyroid function.

Polychlorinated biphenyls and their metabolites and polybrominated diethyl ethers bind to thyroid transport proteins, such as transthyretin, displace thyroxine, and disrupt thyroid function.

Among drugs, interferon-and iodine-containing drugs have been associated with AITD.

Moreover intestinal dysbiosis causes autoimmune thyroiditis.

Autoimmune thyroid diseases commonly affect more frequently females than males, such as in many other autoimmune diseases.

This is probably due to differences between male and female immune systems, which are present in many animal species: males have immune suppression versus females, which is linked to male sexual activity.
Females show greater immune reactivity, and this increased immunocompetence might translate to greater resilience to infectious and non-infectious disorders.

To reduce the risk to populations and also in each patient, it is necessary to comprehend the association between environmental agents and thyroid dysfunction.

For more information
Environmental Issues in Thyroid Diseases