The influence of age on disease outcome in 2015 ATA high-risk differentiated thyroid cancer patients

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Objective: Recent research suggests that the addition of age improves the 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) Risk Stratification System for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). The aim of our study was to investigate the influence of age on disease outcome in ATA-high risk patients with a focus on differences between patients with papillary (PTC) and follicular thyroid cancer (FTC). Methods: We retrospectively studied adult patients with high-risk DTC from a Dutch University hospital. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effects of age (at diagnosis) and several age cutoffs (per 5 years increment between 20 and 80 years) on (i) response to therapy, (ii) developing no evidence of disease (NED), (iii) recurrence, and (iv) disease-specific mortality (DSM). Results: We included 236 ATA high-risk patients (32% FTC) with a median follow-up of 6 years. Age, either continuously or dichotomously, had a significant influence on having an excellent response after initial therapy, developing NED, recurrence, and DSM for PTC and FTC. For FTC, an age cutoff of 65 or 70 years showed the best statistical model performance, while this was 50 or 60 years for PTC. Conclusions: In a population of patients with high-risk DTC, older age has a significant negative influence on disease outcomes. Slightly different optimal age cutoffs were identified for the different outcomes, and these cutoffs differed between PTC and FTC. Therefore, the ATA Risk Stratification System may further improve should age be incorporated as an additional risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
Early online date3 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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© 2021 European Society of Endocrinology Printed in Great Britain


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