Thyroid Disease in Ageing and Risk Factors

Thyroid Disease in Ageing and Risk Factors

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3480-8.ch019
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Thyroid disorders are highly prevalent, most frequently afflicting aging women. It is crucial to advance the means of diagnosing thyroid diseases, especially overt and subclinical hypothyroidism in elderly people, because thyroid-associated symptoms are very similar to symptoms of the normal aging process. Thyroid hormone production, metabolism, and action change with aging. The reference ranges for serum thyrotropin and thyroid hormones are derived mainly from younger populations. Thus, the prevalence of subclinical thyroid dysfunction is increased greatly in the elderly. There has been increasing interest in thyroid function in the elderly because of association of thyroid status with disability, cognitive function, cardiovascular disease risk, and longevity.
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Thyroid Diseases In Elderly

Thyroid diseases regardless of age can be classified as functional disorders (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism), inflammatory conditions (thyroiditis) and neoplastic conditions (nodules and carcinomas). Overt hypothyroidism occurs in 2–5% of the patients older than 60 years. (Mariotti, Franceschi, Cossarizza., & Pinchera, 1995). Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is more common in the younger population. The prevalence in the elderly is approximately 0.5–3%, but 10–15% of the patients with hyperthyroidism are older than 60 years. (1998. US department of health and human services (Hollowell et al., 2002; Kennedy, & Caro, 1996). Different thyroid problems cause different symptoms and are treated differently. Common thyroid disorders and problems include:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, develops when the thyroid gland fails to produce or secrete as much thyroxine (T 4 ) as the body needs.

Ageing: “Aging” refers to the biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense and one of the most complex biological processes.

Management: Management is the way people control different parts of their lives.

Thyroid: Thyroid is the gland responsible for body growth and metabolism.

Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormones by an overactive thyroid.

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