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.

Medical Conditions

There are several medical conditions known to increase your risk of hypothyroidism. These include:


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.

Genetic factors

If any of your family members have hypothyroidism, you are at greater risk.


Hypothyroidism occurs more often in Caucasians than in African Americans.