Mortality after the Treatment of Hyperthyroidism
Dr C Page, Nottingham City University
In Nottingham since 1981 there has been a comprehensive thyroid follow-up register that includes patients with thyroid disease whether they have either an overactive or under active thyroid gland.
Patients are entered onto this register once their thyroid function is stable. This is performed either by their General practitioner or by their Hospital Consultant. These people remain under follow up with regular blood tests until they move away from the region, until they die or until they chose not to have further follow up.
There were 2959 patients entered onto the register between 1981 and 1998 that had an overactive thyroid gland at first diagnosis. There are a total of 39294 - person years of follow-up. This was calculated from the date each patient first received treatment with radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs or surgery until the patient's death, until the patient moved away from the area or until September 1998 - the end of our study period.
We compared the mortality rates in the study population to both national and regional mortality rates. We have found no difference in survival between patients who had hyperthyroidism compared to those who have not. When this group of patients was divided into groups depending on which treatment they received for their hyperthyroidism again no difference in survival has been detected.
We are continuing to look at survival rates depending on the age of diagnosis and subsequent hypothyroidism. This is clearly reassuring news for many patients and their doctors and we continue to await further statistics and findings on this study population.