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Hypothyroidism - 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).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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