Thyroid Dysfunction among Young Adults in Uganda
Background: Most studies on thyroid dysfunction have been on patients refereed for treatment, little is known about the prevalence in the general populations. The importance of knowing such prevalence data lies in that fact that subclinical thyroid dysfunction is an important risk on development of heart disease, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolemia and mental illness. This study set out to determine thyroid dysfunction prevalence in a health young adult population.
Methods: A cross sectional study carried out at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University enrolled 100 Undergraduate medical students by invitations through notices and announcements. Informed consent was sought after approval from research ethics committee.
Results: Of the 100 students enrolled and the samples drawn; 83 tests for TSH and 82 tests for FT4 were successfully run. Three results were abnormal making a prevalence of 3.6% for thyroid dysfunction; a high TSH (5.71) with a normal fT4 (19.2), a normal TSH (1.67) with a high fT4 (22.31) and one with a low TSH (0.03). The mean age of participants was 23 years, there were slightly more males 1.3:1.
Conclusion: The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in this cohort was low but falls in the range found elsewhere. These findings could inform the criteria of screening asymptomatic otherwise young health adults.