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July 22/29, 1998

Radioiodine for HyperthyroidismWhere Do We Stand After 50 Years?

JAMA. 1998;280(4):375-376. doi:10.1001/jama.280.4.375

Hyperthyroidism is a common clinical condition, with an annual incidence of about 1%.1 Approximately 1 in every 20 women will develop this condition during a lifetime.1 Most cases are due to Graves disease, with solitary toxic nodules and toxic multinodular goiters being important, although less frequent, causes. The treatment of hyperthyroidism due to Graves disease is still somewhat controversial. In the United States, iodine 131 is the preferred therapy in adults, but antithyroid agents are favored in younger individuals.2 In Europe and Japan, antithyroid drugs are recommended more often than 131I regardless of the patient's age.3 Surgery for hyperthyroidism is used infrequently in any part of the world.2,3

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