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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jun;101(6):2284-99. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-3908. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Epidemiology and Diagnosis of Hypoparathyroidism.

Author information

Mayo Clinic (B.L.C.), Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Rochester, Minnesota 55905; Harvard Medical School (E.M.B.), Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; Skeletal Clinical Studies Unit (M.T.C.), Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892; Endocrine Unit and Pediatric Nephrology Unit (H.J.), Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114; First Department of Medicine (P.L.), Semmelweis University Medical School, Budapest 1085, Hungary; Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes (M.A.L.), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104; Massachusetts General Hospital (M.M.M.), Boston, Massachusetts 02114; Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (J.P.B.), New York, New York 10032; Department of Hospital Surgery and Oncology of St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy (A.F.R.), St. Petersburg 194100, Russia; and Academic Endocrine Unit (R.V.T.), Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, United Kingdom.



Hypoparathyroidism is a disorder characterized by hypocalcemia due to insufficient secretion of PTH. Pseudohypoparathyroidism is a less common disorder due to target organ resistance to PTH. This report summarizes the results of the findings and recommendations of the Working Group on Epidemiology and Diagnosis of Hypoparathyroidism.


Each contributing author reviewed the recent published literature regarding epidemiology and diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism using PubMed and other medical literature search engines.


The prevalence of hypoparathyroidism is an estimated 37 per 100 000 person-years in the United States and 22 per 100 000 person-years in Denmark. The incidence in Denmark is approximately 0.8 per 100 000 person-years. Estimates of prevalence and incidence of hypoparathyroidism are currently lacking in most other countries. Hypoparathyroidism increases the risk of renal insufficiency, kidney stones, posterior subcapsular cataracts, and intracerebral calcifications, but it does not appear to increase overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, fractures, or malignancy. The diagnosis depends upon accurate measurement of PTH by second- and third-generation assays. The most common etiology is postsurgical hypoparathyroidism, followed by autoimmune disorders and rarely genetic disorders. Even more rare are etiologies including parathyroid gland infiltration, external radiation treatment, and radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid disease. Differentiation between these different etiologies is aided by the clinical presentation, serum biochemistries, and in some cases, genetic testing.


Hypoparathyroidism is often associated with complications and comorbidities. It is important for endocrinologists and other physicians who care for these patients to be aware of recent advances in the epidemiology, diagnosis, and genetics of this disorder.

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