The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune disease where the patient’s antibodies, which usually fight infection, get confused and attack the body. In the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the antibodies attack the thyroid and destroy it. As the disease progresses, the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone and the patients develop hypothyroidism. Family members of patients with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a higher risk to develop this disorder, but it is unclear what degree is this risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of developing the disease in firstdegree relatives (parents, children, siblings) of patients with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as compared with the general population in an Indian population.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Bothra N et al Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: relative recurrence risk ratio and implications for screening of first degree relatives. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf ). 2017 Aug;87(2):201-206.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This large study evaluated the families of 264 patients with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis who were receiving medical care at a single hospital in Western India. A total of 861 first-degree relatives of these patients (205 parents, 336 siblings, 320 children) underwent thyroid evaluation, including physical exam for presence of a goiter, serum thyroid function tests, and serum thyroid antibodies.
Serum thyroid antibodies were present in 38% of the 861 first-degree relatives, while only 17% of relatives had hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. A higher percentage of female relatives had thyroid antibodies and hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as compared to males. Goiter was found on exam in 31% of relatives.