Overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism is an endocrine problem that affects every 1 in 200 people, including young adults
In this condition, there is overproduction of the thyroxin hormone, which speeds up the metabolic process due to which there is weight loss in spite of increased appetite, sweating, diarrhea, and nervousness.
Overactive thyroid is a well-known risk factor for atrial fibrillation, a heart-rhythm disorder, in people aged above 60 years or older, and there is high risk for stroke in hyperthyroidism patients with atrial fibrillation. However, recent studies reveal that there is also increased risk of stroke in younger patients with hyperthyroidism as well.The cause of stroke is undetermined in at least one-third of the patients and until recently hyperthyroidism was never considered as a potential risk factor for stroke, especially in the 18 to 44 years group. A new study reveals that there is increased risk of developing stroke if you are suffering from overactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism, especially if you are less than 45 years of age. This increases your risk of stroke by at least 44%.
The study was conducted by Taipei Medical University in Taipei, Taiwan, by Dr. Lin and his colleagues. For the study, the researchers used data on 3,176 young adults diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and 25,408 people without thyroid disease. The average age was 32 of the patients. These people were observed for five years. During these five years, a total of 198 people had stroke, including 167 without thyroid disease and 31 with thyroid disease. The known risk factors of stroke, which include old age, blood pressure, diabetes, and history of atrial fibrillation, were adjusted, and then it was concluded by the researchers that an overactive thyroid was associated with 44% increased risk for ischemic stroke.
Although the actual mechanisms contributing to the association between hyperthyroidism and stroke has not been fully understood, the researchers derived a few conclusions, such as both hyperthyroidism and ischemic stroke may involve inflammatory factors. Also metabolism angle was brought out by bringing out the fact that hyperthyroidism does cause metabolic changes in the body, which could increase the carotid artery intima-media thickness. Hence, it is advisable to keep monitoring the thickness of the carotid artery intima-medial thickness.
Hence Dr. Lin advises that young adults with hyperthyroidism should be careful and monitor their thyroid function and also be modifying their lifestyle in order to prevent heart attack and stroke. These include maintaining a healthy weight, proper exercises, avoid smoking, maintain blood pressure, and control diabetes.