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Hypothyroidism

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What Increases Your Risk

Many things may increase your risk for hypothyroidism. These include:

  • Age and being female. Older adults are more likely to develop hypothyroidism than younger people. And women are more likely than men to develop thyroid disease.
  • Family historyFamily history. Hypothyroidism tends to run in families.
  • Previous thyroid problems. Thyroid disease, an enlarged thyroid (goiter), and surgery or radiation therapy to treat thyroid problems increase the likelihood of having hypothyroidism in the future.
  • Some lifelong conditions.Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo (an autoimmune disease that causes patches of light skin), pernicious anemia, and leukotrichia (premature gray hair) are seen more often in people who have hypothyroidism.
  • Iodine deficiency. This is rare in the United States but common in areas where iodine is not added to salt, food, and water.
  • Medicines. Some medicines can interfere with normal thyroid function, particularly lithium, amiodarone (such as Cordarone or Pacerone), and interferon alfa (such as Intron A or Roferon A).
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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