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Overactive thyroid in young age linked to stroke risk--study
by Kangna Agarwal

Main Article page | Health page| Fitness articles| Diseases


Having overactive thyroids, a condition medically known as hyperthyroidism, at a younger age may raise early stroke risk, warns a novel research.

Until now, the condition has been shown to elevate the stroke risk only in elderly but this study is the first one to probe its potential role in causing strokes in younger people.

"Strokes of undetermined cause account for between one-third and one-fourth of all ischemic strokes in young people," said Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor at the School of Health Care Administration, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University in Taipei, Taiwan. "To the best of our knowledge, hyperthyroidism has never been considered as a potential risk factor for stroke in the 18 to 44 age group."

Study details
For the study, Lin and his colleagues collected data on 3,176 young adults with hyperthyroidism.

Then the team compared these patients with 25,408 young adults who did not have the condition and followed their medical condition for five years. The average age of all the participants was 32 years.

As many as 198 people, including 31 of the hyperthyroidism patients and 167 patients of the comparison group, had ischemic stroke--strokes caused by blocked arteries--during the five year study period.

Results of the study
On analyzing the medical records of each patient, and adjusting known risk factors for stroke such as old age, blood pressure, diabetes, and history of atrial fibrillation, the researchers found that having overactive thyroid in young age was associated with 44 percent raised stroke risk.

The researchers recommended that the young adults with overactive thyroid should be very particular about their lifestyle habits and maintain a healthy weight, remain active, and avoid smoking to reduce their modifiable risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

They should also undergo regular thyroid checkups to avoid any serious consequences.

The study appears in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Hyperthyroidism and symptoms
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid--butterfly-shaped gland that lies in front of the windpipe--makes too much thyroid hormone, which speeds up the metabolism and causes symptoms such as rapid weight loss, fast heartbeat, sweating, nervousness etc.

Sometimes the condition is asymptomatic, but once diagnosed, it can be easily treated.

However, without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm, according to WebMD.


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