The prevalence of hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone needed for the human body, is highly prevalent in Hyderabad and other cities in the country, a thyroid epidemiological multi-city study conducted by a team of doctors said. The study was supported by health care company Abbot.

The study, results of which were published in the July 2013 issue of Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, says that women, like in other cities, are three times more likely to get affected by hypothyroidism than men. Nearly nine per cent of the 383 patients who participated in the study from Hyderabad had hypothyroidism, of which more than 50 per cent were not aware of the disease.

Overall, of the 5,360 patients from Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai and Ahmedabad who took part in the study, 10.95 per cent had hypothyroidism. The percentage of women patients, between 46 and 54 years of age, who had hypothyroidism was 15.86 per cent while it was 5.02 per cent among men in the same age group.

Spreading awareness

“Overall, one out of 10 adults in our study had the ailment and adults who have crossed 35 years carry the risk of having the ailment. These figures should help guide framing our health policies so that more emphasis is given on spreading awareness about the ailment,” Endocrinologist, OGH, Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sahay, who led the study in Hyderabad, told press persons on Wednesday.

Symptoms of the ailment are weight loss, tiredness, depression, irregular menstruation cycles, infertility and dry skin.

“The challenge lies in diagnosing it because the symptoms are very common and overlap with other ailments. More than 50 per cent of patients here are not aware of the disease, which is higher than Bangalore and Chennai,” says senior physician, Dr. Loy Camoens, also part of the study.

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