To define the optimal approach to identify patients with thyroid dysfunction.
The 8-member Standards of Care Committee of the American Thyroid Association prepared a draft, which was reviewed by the association's 780 members, 50 of whom responded with suggested revisions.
Relevant published studies were identified through MEDLINE and the association membership's personal resources.
Consensus was reached at group meetings. The first draft was prepared by a single author (P.W.L.) after group discussion. Suggested revisions were incorporated after consideration by the committee.
The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults be screened for thyroid dysfunction by measurement of the serum thyrotropin concentration, beginning at age 35 years and every 5 years thereafter. The indication for screening is particularly compelling in women, but it can also be justified in men as a relatively cost-effective measure in the context of the periodic health examination. Individuals with symptoms and signs potentially attributable to thyroid dysfunction and those with risk factors for its development may require more frequent serum thyrotropin testing.