Disability benefits are more likely to be provided to adults with hyperthyroidism compared with those without the condition, according to recent study findings from Denmark.
“In the past, hyperthyroidism has been viewed as a relatively mild disease that can be easily treated; however, our study underlines the true severity of the disease by showing the negative socioeconomic effect that it has on individuals,” Frans Brandt, MD, PhD, of Odense University Hospital in Denmark, said in a press release.
Brandt and colleagues evaluated data from a random sample of the Danish population and twins from the Danish Twin Registry on 1,942 adults with hyperthyroidism, 7,768 healthy controls and 584 same-sex twin pairs discordant for hyperthyroidism to determine the risk for disability pension and changes in labor market income in those with hyperthyroidism.
Follow-up was conducted for a mean of 9 years.
Participants with hyperthyroidism were more likely to have comorbidities (P < .001) and a lower education level (P < .001) compared with controls.
There was a significantly higher risk for receiving disability pension among participants with hyperthyroidism compared with controls (HR = 1.88; 95% CI, 1.57-2.24). After the addition of comorbidities into the analysis, the risk for disability pension was still significantly higher in participants with hyperthyroidism compared with controls (HR = 1.87; 95% CI, 1.52-2.3).
“In comparison, obese individuals have an 87% [higher] risk of receiving disability pension and those with rheumatoid arthritis have the same lower income progression as hyperthyroid individuals,” Brandt said. “This means that hyperthyroidism has socioeconomic consequences of the same magnitude as well-established conditions which are the focus of major research.”
There was a significantly lower mean income among participants with hyperthyroidism before and after the diagnosis compared with controls. There was also a significantly lower progression in income among participants with hyperthyroidism from 2 years before to 2 years after the diagnosis, according to researchers.
“The next step for our group is to explore hyperthyroidism in the entire Danish population; this should lead to the understanding of hyperthyroidism as a much more complicated condition that warrants further investigation,” Brandt said. – by Amber Cox
Brandt reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.