First cross-sectional, multi-city study carried out in India related to thyroid dysfunction  

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SummaryAbbott India announced New Delhi results from a study assessing the prevalence of hypothyroidism in India.

Abbott India announced today the New Delhi results from a study assessing the prevalence of hypothyroidism in India that was published in the July 2013 issue of the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 

The Thyroid Epidemiological Study team was led by Dr. A. G Unnikrishnan, Principal Investigator and CEO and Endocrinologist, Chellaram Diabetes Institute, Pune; Dr. Raj Kumar Lalwani, New Delhi Investigator and 

Consultant Physician – PG Medical Centre, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi; and other researchers [1]. This study initiated by Abbott is India’s first cross-sectional multi-city study to quantify prevalence of thyroid dysfunctions in the post iodization phase in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. 

Key Findings from the Study: 

Hypothyroidism is highly prevalent amongst the surveyed population across India with one out of ten people being diagnosed with the condition. 

Hypothyroidism was found to be a common form of thyroid dysfunction affecting 10.95% of the study population in India. The older population (above the age of 35 years) seemed to be at higher risk of hypothyroidism than the younger population (13.11% vs. 7.53%). 

Of the 5360 people screened for thyroid disorders in India, more than one fourth (26.79%) were from Delhi. Delhi formed the biggest sample size for the nationwide study. Over 11% of the study population from Delhi reported hypothyroidism and one third of them were not aware of their disease. 

Women were three times more likely to be affected by hypothyroidism than men (15.86% vs. 5.02%), especially those in the 46-54age group.   

Hypertension (20.4%) and diabetes mellitus (16.2%) were the other common diseases observed in the study population. 

Undetected cases from study population are significantly higher in Delhi (3.97%) as compared to other major cities like Mumbai (2.86%) and Chennai (2.09%) 

Approximately 22% of the study population in Delhi had anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies [TPO] positivity, an established autoimmune marker pointing toward a steady risk of thyroid disorders. 

About 9.61% of the study population from Delhi had mild thyroid failure; these cases may progress to hypothyroidism in future. 

Dr. A. G Unnikrishnan, Principal Investigator of the study and CEO and Endocrinologist, Chellaram Diabetes Institute, Pune says “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. Many patients were diagnosed with hypothyroidism for the first time during the study. Screening for thyroid disorders is therefore essential for early detection, treatment and management of the disease.

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