Risk Factors for Hypothyroidism
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop hypothyroidism with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing hypothyroidism. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.
There are several medical conditions known to increase your risk of hypothyroidism. These include:
- Pregnancy—Five to eight percent of women develop postpartum thyroiditis. This condition is characterized by hyperthyroidism that is followed by hypothyroidism. Improvement usually results without treatment, but recurrences can occur and treatment is sometimes needed.
- A history of other autoimmune diseases, such as:
Your risk of hypothyroidism increases with age, especially after age 65 years.
Women are approximately 4 to 5 times more likely to develop the condition than men.
If any of your family members have hypothyroidism, you are at greater risk.
Hypothyroidism occurs more often in Caucasians than in African Americans.
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. Available at: http://www.aace.com/ .
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 15th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.
Last reviewed November 2008 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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