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Women Over Fifty Need Thyroid Screening, Study Says

According to a new study by the American College of Physicians women over age 50 should be screened once every 5 years for thyroid conditions. Authors of the new study, which was published in the July 15th issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, found after reviewing 55 studies that 1 in every 71 women over 60 years old tested positive for cases of either “overt hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.” By measuring the levels of a pituitary hormone known as TSH, a simple blood test can detect thyroid problems. The thyroid gland, located in the front of the throat, is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Hyperthyroidism (too much of the thyroid hormone) can result in agitation and weight loss, while hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) has symptoms of hair loss and sluggishness.

Sources:

Reuters - July 15, 1998

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