Goiters can affect anyone. They may be present at birth and occur at any time throughout life, although they're more common after age 40. Some common risk factors for goiter include:
Jan. 02, 2014
- A lack of dietary iodine. People living in areas where iodine is in short supply and who don't have access to iodine supplements are at high risk of goiter.
- Being female. Because women are more prone to thyroid disorders, they're also more likely to develop goiters.
- Your age. Your chances of developing a goiter increase with age.
- Medical history. A personal or family history of autoimmune disease increases your risk.
- Pregnancy and menopause. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, thyroid problems are more likely to occur during pregnancy and menopause.
- Certain medications. Some medical treatments, including immunosuppressants, antiretrovirals, the heart drug amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone, others) and the psychiatric drug lithium (Lithobid, others), increase your risk.
- Radiation exposure. Your risk increases if you've had radiation treatments to your neck or chest area or you've been exposed to radiation in a nuclear facility, test or accident.
- Goiter. American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/what-is-a-goiter/. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Medeiros-Neto G, et al. Thyroid disorders and diseases: Approach to and treatment of goiters. Medical Clinics of North America. 2012;96:351.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Goiter. The Hormone Foundation. http://www.hormone.org/questions-and-answers/2013/goiter. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Brunton LL, et al. Goodman & Gilman's the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 12th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=28. Accessed Sept. 4, 2013.
- Simple nontoxic goiter (euthyroid goiter). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/thyroid_disorders/simple_nontoxic_goiter.html. Accessed Sept. 4, 2013.
- Alexander EK, et al. Case 19-2013: A 35-year-old woman with recurrent goiter and ductal carcinoma of the breast. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:2416.
- Iodine deficiency. American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/. Accessed Sep. 4, 2013.
- Nippoldt TN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 23, 2013.