Pattern and temporal profile of thyroid carcinoma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A review and meta-analysis

Ibrahim Altedlawi Albalawi, Hyder Osman Mirghani


There is an increasing rate of thyroid carcinoma in the developed world attributed mainly to over-diagnosis due to healthcare improvement. Saudi Arabia has made health a top priority, an increasing rate of over diagnosis is expected.

The current review assessed the trends, spatial distribution, and epidemiology of thyroid carcinoma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A systematic electronic search was conducted in PubMed and Google Scholar for relevant articles. All human studies published during the period 2009-December 2019 including Epub and ahead of print were eligible. The keywords thyroid carcinoma, thyroid lesion, Saudi Arabia, prevalence, and incidence were used in different combinations, among the three hundred fifty-four articles identified, twenty-three full text were assessed and only seventeen studies were included. Then the author's names, year and region of publication, the study type, period of study, and the result were recorded. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, IBM, version 20, New York was used for data analysis.

Seventeen articles were included (9754 patient, age 44.53±5.42 years), women outmoded men and showed younger age (36.59 years), papillary carcinoma was the commonest sub-variant of carcinoma (75.62±17.53, age 52.3 years) followed by follicular (6.52±2.92).  An increasing trend was observed all over the Kingdom, but not consistent in all-region.

An increasing rate of thyroid carcinoma was evident in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the commonest being papillary carcinoma. Females were more commonly affected at a younger age group. Further National studies assessing whether the increased rate is due to over-diagnosis or other risk factors are highly recommended.
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