Dr. Poonam Salwan, Dr. Megha Sood*, Dr. Jagminder K. Bajaj, Dr. Shalini Salwan, Dr. Sunil Wadhwa


Background: Thyroid diseases are common worldwide. In India too, there is a significant burden of thyroid diseases and 42 million people in India are estimated to be suffering from them. Intentional, inadvertent, or accidental exposures to a variety of environmental factors pose a significant risk of thyroid dysfunction under certain circumstances. There is a need to investigate the potential harm posed by these factors in the quantities commonly encountered. Objective: To identify the prevalent risk factors (non-modifiable and modifiable) of hypothyroidism and to estimate strength of their association with occurrence of the disease. Materials and Methods: This case–control study was conducted at a teaching hospital in North India. Predesigned and pretested questionnaire was used to collect data. A total of 108 cases with hypothyroidism and 107 control subjects were included in this study. Result: About half (54.33%) of hypothyroid patients were in the age group of 40-50 years. Out of total cases, 6.14% were males and 93.8% females. There was significant association between modifiable risk factors (pollution, type of diet and cooking oil) and hypothyroidism, while age and weight as risk factors were not significantly associated. Conclusion: Middle aged females seem to be more prone to develop hypothyroidism. Iodine intake ceases to be the sole etiological contender for thyroid disorders. Environmental factors appear to play an etiological role in a significant proportion of patients. The findings provide some insight into the complex interactions between genetic factors, which account for a major part of disease susceptibility, and environmental factors.

Keywords: Thyroid dysfunction, Goitrogens, autoimmune thyroid disease, case-control study, Iodine deficiency.

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