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One in five Chinese have thyroid gland diseases

By Shan Juan  (China Daily)

10:44, May 21, 2013

One in five Chinese people are suffering thyroid nodules and roughly 10 percent of all thyroid nodule cases are actually thyroid cancer, medical experts said at a event to mark the International Thyroid Awareness Week (May 20 to May 29).

Experts said that China has more than 200 million people suffering from various kinds of thyroid diseases on the mainland.

The prevalence of thyroid diseases has risen sharply on the mainland in recent years, but public awareness remains relatively low, Teng Weiping, president of the Chinese Society of Endocrinology, said on Monday.

"Less than 5 percent of patients with various kinds of thyroid conditions receive proper and timely treatment on the mainland largely due to a lack of knowledge," he said.

According to Teng, other common thyroid diseases in the country include hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, which recorded a prevalence of 1.3 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.

"The overall number of people suffering thyroid conditions is far larger than that with diabetes," he said

Statistics from the Chinese Health and Family Planning Commission show that the country has more than 90 million diabetics on the mainland.

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones to regulate important body functions including heart rate and blood pressure.

Teng suggested regular screenings to help ensure early detection and treatment.

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