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Overactive Thyroid Linked to Stroke in Young Adults
Date:4/1/2010

erthyroidism and the risk of subsequent ischemic stroke [stroke caused by a blood clot] in young adults," Lin said in a statement. "A more thorough evaluation in future studies may help elucidate the causes of stroke in this age group. Our results indicate a need for thyroid function testing and detection of hyperthyroidism in surveys to identify the causes of ischemic stroke in young people."

Lin said up to 2 percent of the world's population have an overactive thyroid, which revs up the metabolism and causes sweating, weight loss, diarrhea and nervousness.

In older adults, hyperthyroidism is associated with atrial fibrillation, which can lead to stroke or sudden cardiac death. However, this relationship has not been documented in younger adults, Lin said.

Another expert, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke University Stroke Center, doesn't think this study shows a causal relationship between hyperthyroidism and stroke.

"The question is, is this real and what is the potential mechanism?" he said. "The overall risk appears to be relatively small. There would need to be 250 people with hyperthyroidism before one would have a stroke."

Treating the hyperthyroidism would probably eliminate the risk factors associated with the risk of a stroke, Goldstein said.

More information

To learn more about stroke, visit the Stroke Association.



SOURCES: Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., director, Duke University Stroke Center, Durham, N.C.; Majaz Moonis, M.D., director, stroke services, University of Massachusetts, Worcester; April 1, 2010, Stroke, online


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