A three-year-long study conducted across the country has revealed that one out of every four Indians has abnormal thyroid levels. Of the 200 million people who suffer from thyroid disorders worldwide, 42 million are in India.

In the study conducted by SRL Diagnostics, more than 20 lakh samples were screened, out of which 25.3% were found to have abnormal thyroid levels.

Women had a higher percentage of abnormality (26%) as compared to men (24%). The highest prevalence of abnormal thyroid values was seen in the eastern zone of the country (27% of the samples).

Dr Leena Chatterjee, director, Fortis Labs, said: “There is a significant need to reach out to the masses and create awareness about the causes, symptoms, treatment and importance of testing for thyroid disorders.”

Excess thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism while insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.

Dr Phulrenu Chauhan, head of the department of endocrinology at PD Hinduja Hospital said “The incidence of thyroid has gone up in post-menopausal women. Adolescents are also prone to thyroid issues. She added that while the condition is comparitively less common in males, older men with cardiac issues are more at risk.

So what can one do to keep thyroid levels in check Eating less processed food and exercising more will help,” said Chauhan.

About thyroid disorders

Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck
Hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate growth and function of other systems in the body
Thyroid hormones are important for development
Thyroid problems become more common with old age
Stress has an adverse effect on thyroid production