Consumption of Thyroid Medications as an Indicator of Increase of Thyroid Morbidity in Latvia from 2011 to 2014

Open access


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.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Anonymous (2012). 20. Vēstis [20th Proceedings]. The National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia (in Latvian). Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Anonymous (2014). Statistics On Medicines Consumption 2013. State Agency of Medicines. Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Anonymous (2015). 23. Vēstis [23th Proceedings]. The National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia (in Latvian). Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Anonymous (2017). Guidelines for ATC classification and DDD assignment 2018. WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology. Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Anonymous (2018a). Kopsavilkums par cukura diabēta pacientiem 2001.–2017. [Summary about patients with diabetes mellitus 2001.–2017.]. The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) of Latvia (in Latvian). Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Anonymous (2018b). Statistics On Medicines Consumption 2017. State Agency of Medicines. Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Bartalena L. Bogazzi F. Chiovato L. Hubalewska-Dydejczyk A. Links T. Vanderpump M. (2018). 2018 European Thyroid Association (ETA) Guidelines for the Management of Amiodarone-Associated Thyroid Dys-function. Eur. Thyroid J.7 (2) 55–66.

  • Carter Y. Sippel R. S. Chen H. (2013). Hypothyroidism after a cancer diagnosis: Etiology diagnosis complications and management. The Oncologist19 (1) 34–43.

  • Hollowel J. G. Staehling N. W. Flanders W. D. Hannon W. H. Gunter E. W. Spencer C. A. Braverman L. E. (2002). Serum TSH T4 and thyroid antibodies in the United States population (1988 to 1994): National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.87 (2) 489–499.

  • Kahaly G. J. Dietlein M. (2002). Cost estimation of thyroid disorders in Germany. Thyroid12 (10) 909–914.

  • Koutras D. A. (1997). Disturbances of menstruation in thyroid disease. Ann. New York Acad. Sci.816 (1) 280–284.

  • Leo S. D. Lee S. Y. Braverman L. E. (2016). Hyperthyroidism. The Lancet388 (10047) 906–918.

  • Madariaga A. G. Palacios S. S. Guillén-Grima F. Galofré J. C. (2014). The incidence and prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in Europe: A meta-analysis. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.99 (3) 923–931.

  • Møllehave L. Linneberg A. Skaaby T. Knudsen N. Ehlers L. Jørgensen T. Thuesen B. (2018). Trends in costs of thyroid disease treatment in Denmark during 1995–2015. Eur. Thyroid J. 7 (2) 75–83.

  • Pearce S. H. Brabant G. Duntas L. H. Monzani F. Peeters R. P. Razvi S. Wemeau J. (2013). 2013 ETA Guideline: Management of Subclinical Hypothyroidism. Eur. Thyroid J.2 (4) 215–228

  • Pirich C. Müllner M. Sinzinger H. (2000). Prevalence and relevance of thyroid dysfunction in 1922 cholesterol screening participants. J. Clin. Epidemiol.53 (6) 623–629.

  • Rhee C. M. Bhan I. Alexander E. K. Brunelli S. M. (2012). Association between iodinated contrast media exposure and incident hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Arch. Int. Med.172 (2) 153.

  • Rootslane L. Laius O. Sepp J. Kurvits K. Seilis A. Gailīte E. Ķikute D. Dr Gulbinovič J. Tomaševič R. Stasevičiūtė V. (2013). Baltic Statistics On Medicine 2010–2012. Estonian State Agency Of Medicines. Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Seilis A. Gailīte E. Rootslane L. Laius O. Savaikis L. Tomaševič R. (2016). Baltic Statistics On Medicine 2013–2015. Estonian State Agency Of Medicines. Available from: (accessed 15.05.2019).

  • Taylor P. N. Albrecht D. Scholz A. Gutierrez-Buey G. Lazarus J. H. Dayan C. M. Okosieme O. E. (2018). Global epidemiology of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Nature Rev. Endocrinol. 14 (5) 301–316.

  • Vanderpump M. P. (2011). The epidemiology of thyroid disease. Brit. Med. Bull. 99 (1) 39–51.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.3

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.137
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.192

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 76 76 12
PDF Downloads 60 60 9