adult screening programme

Thyroid disease

This recommendation has been archived and is no longer regularly reviewed by the UK NSC.

Thyroid disease is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not function properly. There are 2 types of thyroid disease. These are:

  • hyperthyroidism, where the body produces too much thyroid hormone
  • hypothyroidism, where the body produces too little thyroid hormone

Thyroid dysfunction is associated with other health problems. These include increased risk of heart disease, decreased bone density, and stroke.

Read more about overactive thyroid and underactive thyroid on the NHS website.

Screening for thyroid disease in adults is not recommended. This is because:

• there is no agreement on what a normal level of thyroid hormone is

• there is no cut-off point where health professionals agree that treatment is needed

• there is a lack of evidence on the outcomes of treatment for various forms of thyroid disease

• the evidence suggests no substantial benefit of treatment for early stage hypothyroidism, where levels of some thyroid hormones are still normal

In March 2022, the UK NSC archived this condition.

The UK NSC will reopen this topic if new evidence becomes available that is likely to have a significant effect on the recommendation. Stakeholders can also submit an annual call proposal for the UK NSC to reopen this topic if new evidence becomes available.