Prevalence of Thyroid Disorder in A Primary Care District Hospital of Nepal
Introduction: Thyroid disorders are among the common endocrine disorders and may approximate diabetes in prevalence. District hospitals are in frontline to manage chronic disorders including thyroid. Primary care workforce of physicians and mid-level providers together deliver care in these hospitals. Few hospitals are equipped with tests to diagnose thyroid disorders. The objective of the study is to find the burden of thyroid disorder in a district hospital of Nepal.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study conducted in Bayalpata Hospital. One year data from July 2017 to June 2018 was collected from the electronic health record system. Data was collected from 999 patients through convenient sampling where thyroid function test was done. Subgroup analysis was done on basis of gender, symptoms at presentation and comorbidities.
Results: Prevalence of thyroid disorder in a district hospital of Nepal was 171 (17.11%) at 95% confidence interval, range occurring from 14% to 20%. Among them, 130 (76%) had hypothyroidism and 41 (24%) had hyperthyroidism. Prevalence of thyroid disorder among female was 147 (14.7%) and among male was 24 (2.4%). The most common symptom was depressed mood followed by nonspecific pain disorder, thyroid swelling, paresthesia and menstrual disturbances and common comorbidities reported were depression, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety disorder and chronic gastritis.
Conclusions: Our study showed the burden of thyroid disorders in a primary care district hospital with hypothyroidism being more common than hyperthyroidism. Thyroid disorder must be addressed on time to lower the burden. However, most of the rural population of Nepal lack in matters of lack of resources. So, it is suggested for the need to equip the health centers with thyroid tests and integrated workforce of physicians and mid-level providers in care delivery of thyroid disorders.
Keywords: district hospital; hyperthyroidism; hypothyroidism; rural; thyroid disorder.