Thyroid is a gland which produces a hormone influencing almost all metabolic processes in the human body.
The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism was found to be affecting 10.95% of the studied population in India. (Read: Thyroid disease – 10 quick facts you should know)
The older population (above the age of 35 years) seemed to be at a higher risk of hypothyroidism than the younger population. Of the 5,360 people screened for the study, more than one-fourth (26.7%) were from Delhi.
Over 11% of the study population from Delhi reported hypothyroidism and one-third of them were not even aware of their disease, said the ‘Thyroid Epidemiological Study’ by Abbot India, a leading health care and pharmaceutical company.
Women were three times more likely to be affected by hypothyroidism than men (15.86 % as against 5.02 %), especially those in the 46-54 years age group, it said. Undetected cases were significantly higher in Delhi (3.97 %) as compared to other major cities like Mumbai (2.86 %) and Chennai (2.09 %). About 9.61 % of the study population in Delhi had mild thyroid failure, which may lead to hypothyroidism in future.
‘The study assessed the nationwide prevalence of thyroid disorder, particularly hypothyroidism in adults residing in various cities that represent diverse geographic origin, occupation, socio-economic status and food habits,’ said AG Unnikrishnan, principal investigator of the study and CEO and endocrinologist at Chellaram Diabetes Institute in Pune. Raj Kumar Lalwani, a consultant physician in a south Delhi hospital, said: ‘Over 11 % of the study population was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and one-third of hypothyroid cases were not aware of their disease.’
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism refers to a decrease in production of hormones by the gland. Some of the symptoms that could signal hypothyroidism are weight gain or failure to lose weight despite a proper weight loss regime, enlargement in the neck, reduced heart rate, increased cold sensitivity, lethargy, numbness in hands, dry skin and hair, heavy menstrual periods and constipation. (Read more: Thyroid – facts you need to know)
With inputs from IANS
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