Importance: Thyroid cancer is the most common pediatric endocrine malignant neoplasm. Disparities in the workup of thyroid nodules may be significantly associated with thyroid cancer outcomes.Objective: To determine the association of sociodemographic factors with the odds of receiving a biopsy, timeliness of the procedure, and risk of nodule malignancy.Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study using insurance claims data from the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart database. The study cohort comprised pediatric patients diagnosed with single thyroid nodules between 2003 and 2020. Data analysis was performed from January 1, 2003, to June 30, 2020.Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify demographic variables associated with biopsy and nodule malignant neoplasm. A multivariable linear regression model was used to assess the time between thyroid nodule diagnosis and biopsy.Results: Of 11?643 children (median [IQR] age at diagnosis or procedure, 15 [12-17] years; 8549 [73.2%] were female and 3126 [26.8%] were male) diagnosed with single thyroid nodules, 2117 (18.2%) received a biopsy. Among the patients who received a biopsy, 304 (14.4%) were found to have a malignant nodule. Greater parental education was associated with a shorter diagnosis-to-biopsy interval (mean difference, -7.24 days; 95% CI, -13.75 to -0.73). Older age at nodule diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.11; 95% CI, 1.09-1.13) and female gender (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.11-1.40) were associated with increased odds of receiving a biopsy, while Black/African American (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65-0.99) and Hispanic (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99) patients had lower odds of receiving a biopsy compared with White patients. Finally, female gender (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.80-1.47) was not associated with lower odds of nodule malignant neoplasm.Conclusions and Relevance: Findings of this cross-sectional study highlight disparities in the diagnostic management of pediatric thyroid nodules. These results call for future work to ensure equitable access to thyroid care for all children.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaoto.2022.3167
View details for PubMedID 36227590