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Trends, Determinants and Associations of Treated Hypothyroidism in the United Kingdom, 2005-2014

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Salman Razvi



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background: Recent reports suggest that prescriptions for thyroid hormones have increased. We therefore analyzed recent trends in and determinants of prevalence of treated hypothyroidism across the United Kingdom (UK).Methods: UK-wide data held by the National Health Service and the Office of National Statistics were examined. The main outcome measured was trends in prevalence of treated hypothyroidism between 2005 till 2014. In addition, linear trend forecasting was performed to estimate projected trends in prevalence of treated hypothyroidism up to the year 2025. Furthermore, determinants of variation of treated hypothyroidism prevalence across each of the 237 health areas in the UK in 2014 and its association with other health conditions were explored by multivariate linear regression analyses.Results: The prevalence of treated hypothyroidism increased from 2.3% (1.4 million) to 3.5% (2.2 million) of the total UK population between the years 2005 – 2014 and is projected to rise further to 4.2% (2.9 million) by 2025. There was large geographical variation of treated hypothyroidism across the UK with London having the lowest (1.4%) and the Western Isles of Scotland having the highest (6.3%) prevalence. This variation was attenuated, but did not completely disappear, after some potential determinants were accounted for.Prevalence of treated hypothyroidism was independently related to health areas with higher proportion of individuals who were female, White, obese, and negatively associated with prevalent cigarette smoking. Prevalence of treated hypothyroidism was significantly associated with frequency of prevalent atrial fibrillation but not with other major health conditions including ischemic heart disease and osteoporosis.Conclusions: Between 2005 and 2014, prevalence of treated hypothyroidism increased across the UK, has wide geographical variation, and is likely to increase further for the foreseeable future. Clinical effects and cost-effectiveness of the trend in increasing treatment of hypothyroidism remains to be evaluated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Razvi S, Korevaar TIM, Taylor PN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Thyroid

Year: 2018

Volume: 29

Issue: 2

Pages: 174-182

Print publication date: 13/02/2019

Online publication date: 01/12/2018

Acceptance date: 17/11/2018

Date deposited: 21/11/2018

ISSN (print): 1050-7256

ISSN (electronic): 1557-9077

Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers


DOI: 10.1089/thy.2018.0251


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