Increasing prevalence and incidence of thyroid disease in Tayside, Scotland: the Thyroid Epidemiology Audit and Research Study (TEARS)
Article first published online: 3 SEP 2007
© 2007 The Authors
Volume 68, Issue 2, pages 311–316, February 2008
How to Cite
Leese, G. P., Flynn, R. V., Jung, R. T., MacDonald, T. M., Murphy, M. J. and Morris, A. D. (2008), Increasing prevalence and incidence of thyroid disease in Tayside, Scotland: the Thyroid Epidemiology Audit and Research Study (TEARS). Clinical Endocrinology, 68: 311–316. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2007.03051.x
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 3 SEP 2007
- (Received 3 May 2007; returned for revision 3 June 2007; finally revised 14 August 2007; accepted 14 August 2007)
Objective We aimed to describe the changing incidence of thyroid disease in a population-based study in Tayside, Scotland (population 390 000) between 1994 and 2001.
Design A retrospective, data-linkage, population-based study measuring the incidence and prevalence of thyroid disease.
Patients All patients with newly diagnosed, treated and stable thyroid disease in Tayside were identified by electronic linkage of six datasets, including all regional biochemistry data, hospital admissions, deaths and a thyroid follow-up register.
Results The overall prevalence of thyroid dysfunction has increased from 2·3% to 3·8% (1994–2001). The prevalence of ever having had hyperthyroidism increased from 0·86% to 1·26% in females and 0·17% to 0·24% in males (P < 0·0001 for both). The standardized incidence of hyperthyroidism increased from 0·68 to 0·87 per 1000 females/year, representing a 6·3% annual increase (P < 0·0001). The prevalence of primary hypothyroidism increased from 3·12% to 5·14% in females and 0·51% to 0·88% in males (P < 0·0001 for both). The standardized incidence of primary hypothyroidism did not change and varied between 3·90 and 4·89 per 1000 females/year over the 8 years. Incidence of hypothyroidism in males increased from 0·65 to 1·01 per 1000 males/year (P = 0·0017). Mean age at diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism declined in females from 1994 to 2001.
Conclusions The prevalence of primary hypothyroidism and previous hyperthyroidism has increased in Tayside, Scotland. This is partly due to an increasing incidence of disease, increased ascertainment and earlier diagnosis of disease. This will result in an increased workload for endocrinologists and general practitioners.