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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012;(214):361-86. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-30726-3_17.

Thyroid disorders.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University Of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


All forms of thyroid diseases are much more frequently observed in women than men, although the reasons are still not completely elucidated.Hyperthyroidism is defined by elevated circulating free thyroid hormones. The prevalence is about 2 % in women and 0.2 % in men. The most frequent causes are various forms of thyroid autonomy in elderly women and Graves' disease, which occurs mostly in younger women.Hypothyroidism is defined by a lack of thyroid hormones. It is a common endocrine disorder caused by autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto thyroiditis), iodine deficiency or following surgery or radioiodine therapy. Thyroxine requirements depend on fat-free mass and are, therefore, somewhat higher in males who are more often undersubstituted. In pregnancy lower TSH-reference ranges have to be considered and thyroid function should be monitored throughout pregnancy to avoid harm to the foetus caused by maternal thyroid dysfunctions. If overtreated women more often feature fractures, whereas males more often develop atrial fibrillation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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