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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Mary Von, MS PA-C

Second Advisor

Jonathon W. Gietzen MS PA-C


BACKGROUND: Populations that practice a subsistence lifestyle are at higher risk of ingesting endocrine disrupting substances, such as organochlorine pesticides, PCB's, dioxins, and synthetic and plant-derived estrogens. Because the Quileute Tribe is a population that has traditionally been dependent on hunting and fishing for sustenance and because the tribe is relatively isolated, tribal members may be at risk for development of thyroid disorders at a higher rate than other populations due to the ingestion of exogenous endocrine disruptors.

OBJECTIVE: To discover whether there is a higher than average prevalence of thyroid disorder in the Quileute tribe of La Push, Washington.

STUDY DESIGN: A confidential chart review was conducted on the Quileute Reservation July 24-28, 2006. Adults (18 or older) receiving health care at the Quileute Health Clinic who were members of the Quileute Tribe and who visited the clinic between 7-2001 and 7-2006 were eligible/or inclusion in this study. A Qman database search was initiated on the ICD-9 codes for hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer. Subsequently the data was analyzed/or prevalence of thyroid disorder in the tribe.

RESULTS: A total of 25 paper charts were pulled and reviewed; 13 of which were Quileute and 12 which were Native American but not members of the Quileute tribe. There are 706 currently enrolled members of the Quileute Tribe.

CONCLUSION: Quileute tribal members experienced no higher rate of thyroid disorder than that of other studied populations.


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