Evidence on Thyroid Screening Effects Remains Inconclusive

They just can't seem to figure it out. Notice the increase from 2006 to 2010, USA numbers of course and note the increase in the senior population. PR

"More research is still needed to determine the risks and benefits of thyroid screening and treatment, the authors of the report write."

"The prescribing rate for the thyroid medication levothyroxine increased from 49.8 million in 2006 to 70.5 million in 2010, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics April 2011 report. The proportion of community-dwelling people older than 65 years receiving thyroid hormone more than doubled, going from 8.1% in 1989 to 20% in 2005, according to another report."

Link to Medscape article.

medscape.com/viewarticle/83...

Link to original study, which is a free download.

annals.org/article.aspx?art...

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  • If only "they" would establish at least a partial universal screening area - a state, a county (USA type or UK type!), whatever - and see what happens. Had this been done ten or more years ago, we could be reaping the benefits.

    Rod

  • Rod, the profession of endocrinology seems to be completely out of touch with reality, very strange. A perfect example would be the fact that the antibody tests are still not a part of a normal screening. PR

  • Their argument seems to be (if I'm reading this right) is that although prescribing rates have jumped, there's no benefit in screening the population because there's no research about how screening would improve health outcomes and reduce early deaths.

    Instead of concluding they should do that research, they've concluded they should do nothing.

    I'd make some comment about that being unbelievable, but I've been reading and posting here too long to be surprised about anything any more.

  • I would have said that the results of the Whickham Survey conducted almost 40 years ago was strong support for screening at least in the elderly, where a significant number of older people with various physical and mental frailties were found to actually be undiagnosed hypothyroids. The value of both improving people's health and getting them back into the community out of old people's or care homes seems to me to be inescapable (and enormously cost-effective for the price of the screening programme). In fact I've always supported a view that everyone should have a reliable FT4/FT3 measurement made in health at about 21, for comparative reference later on if disease in the thyroid is suspected. That would doubly ensure an educated analysis of present state of health against a former completely healthy state thyroid-wise.

  • Diogenes, I agree with both of your points, we currently spend a great deal of money unnecessarily because of lost productivity and lower quality of life. PR

  • aDoctor, it is a tricky business both for the patients, and for the doctors that treat using a clinical approach. The vast majority of allopathic doctors treat the lab test and do not include the patient in the equation which results in an inferior standard of treatment that leaves many of us sick, makes us sicker, destroys our relationships with our loved ones, destroys our careers, destroys our lives and occasionally kills us. The ATA's 2014 Treatment Guidelines is one of the most arrogant and irrelevant pieces of sophistry and misogyny that I have ever read. It is all about ego and protecting their turf and has little to do with actually getting the patient well. Much of allopathic medicine has lost any claim to moral or scientific integrity. Unfortunately this makes it extremely difficult for those allopathic doctors that actually try and do what is best for their patients . As I mentioned before, I hope you are near retirement, it must be a terribly frustrating battle to have to fight standards that are not in your patients' best interests.

    From the patients' point of view all we are doing is trying to survive and prevent our lives from being needlessly destroyed. The fortunate ones start asking questions and looking for answers. For many it is an uphill battle due to brain fog and lack of energy. Not all attempts to solve the problem end in good results. It is a lot of work to shift through all the information and try to determine what will be a successful course of action. Thyroid patient advocacy sites like this one provide a lot of basic information and support. It is telling that so many countries have thyroid patient advocacy sites. Eventually our numbers will swell to where we can no longer be ignored, until then many lives will be needlessly destroyed. As this study shows it is an ever increasing problem that allopathic medicine seems want to acknowledge. If we do not acknowledge the problem of ever increasing chronic conditions it will bankrupt most countries on this planet.

    Allopathic health care has to change or it will become irrelevant. PR

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