Ieva Kalere, Ieva Strēle, Mārtiņš Miglinieks, Ilze Repša, Santa Pildava, Mihails Romanovs, Valdis Pīrāgs and Ilze Konrāde
The most common autoimmune disorders with clinically opposite manifestations are hypothyroidism in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism in Graves’ disease. The healthcare burden of thyroid disease is substantial, resulting in substantial health care costs. The aim of the present analysis is to assess the use of thyroid medications in Latvia from 2011 to 2014 by age and gender. Our study used reimbursed medication prescriptions data, collected by the National Health Service of Latvia. The main indicator was the number of prevalent users of thyroid medications each year from 2011 to 2014, stratified by age and gender. From 2011 to 2014, the number of thyroxine users per 100 000 revealed a statistically significant increase in all age and gender groups, except in 0- to 9-year-old girls. The number of Thiamazole users among men increased in the age group from 40 to 89 years and in women age groups above 49 years. Increasing sales of both thyroid hormones and antithyroid medications are also observed in Estonia and Lithuania, indicating that growing thyroid morbidity is an issue in the whole region. The substantial increase in number of patients highlights the necessity for national guidelines on the use of thyroid function tests and standards of medical care.