Thyroid disorders laid bare

Duncan J Topliss
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00433.x
Published online: 8 June 2006

Thyroid disorders are common, and encountered by all in clinical practice. In the population, evident hyperthyroidism is present in 0.5% and subclinical hyperthyroidism in a further 0.7%. Frank hypothyroidism (treated and untreated) has a prevalence of 0.3% and subclinical hypothyroidism is present in over 4%. Clinically evident thyroid nodules or goitre are found in 5%, with ultrasonographically detectable nodules in over 50% by the age of 60 years. The incidence of new thyroid nodules is one per 1000 per year and about one in 25 is malignant. Mild iodine deficiency has re-emerged in Australia, at least in the south-eastern states. Forty million dollars worth of thyroid function tests are ordered every year in Australia. Despite all this, recognition and treatment of thyroid disease could still be much improved throughout Australia.



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