A risk factor is something that raises your chances of getting a disease or health problem.
You can get hypothyroidism with or without these risks. Your chances are higher when you have more risk factors. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to lower them.
There are many health problems that can raise your risk, such as:
- Pregnancy—1 in 10 women get postpartum thyroiditis. Women who have had it one time are more likely to have it again in the future.
A family history of immune system problems, such as:
- Having received radiation to the head or neck
- Prior thyroid surgery
Your risk of hypothyroidism gets higher with age, especially after age 65.
Women are more likely to have this health problem than men.
You are at higher risk if any of your family members have hypothyroidism.
Jonklaas J, Bianco AC, Bauer AJ, et al. Guidelines for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Thyroid. 2014 Dec;24(12):1670-751.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism. Updated August 2016. Accessed May 20, 2019.
Hypothyroidism in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115914/Hypothyroidism-in-adults. Updated July 20, 2018. Accessed May 20, 2019.
Last reviewed March 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review BoardJames P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2019