A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop
with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing hyperthyroidism. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for hyperthyroidism include:
Medical conditions may increase your risk of hyperthyroidism:
- Certain common viral infections
- Pregnancy—A small percentage of women develop postpartum thyroiditis (hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism).
- A history of other autoimmune diseases
Hyperthyroidism can happen at any age, but it is more common in people aged 60 and older.
is more likely to occur between ages 40-60 years old.
Women are more likely than men to develop hyperthyroidism.
A family history of
or other forms of hyperthyroidism
increases your risk.
People of Japanese ancestry appear to be at greater risk of hyperthyroidism. This may be attributed to a diet high in saltwater fish, which are rich sources of iodine.
If you had a diet that was deficient in iodine, then start taking iodine supplements, this can increase your risk of hyperthyroidism.
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. Available at:
American Women’s Medical Association website. Available at:
Graves' disease. Davidson College website. Available at:
. Accessed December 9, 2009.
Kasper DL, Harrison TR.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005.
Pearce EN. Diagnosis and management of thyrotoxicosis.
Brit Med J. 2006;332:1369-1373.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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