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COVID Vaccines May Cause Thyroid-related Autoimmune Diseases



COVID-19 mRNA vaccines can cause a low but notable risk of new-onset thyroid diseases, according to a meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Vikram Gill, a medical doctor and co-author of the meta-analysis, shared the study via poster presentation at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology annual meeting May 9-11, according to MedPage Today. The study was published in the May issue of Endocrine Practice.

The study analyzed 77 cases of thyroid-related autoimmune diseases among people with no prior history of autoimmune disorders before receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

The meta-analysis identified 38 cases of Graves’ disease and 39 cases of subacute thyroiditis among the 77 total cases of new-onset thyroid diseases following vaccination.

Women were more affected than men by a ratio of approximately 2:1. This aligns with the general trend of women being more susceptible to autoimmune diseases compared to men, the authors noted.

The average age of men diagnosed with post-vaccination autoimmune diseases was around 44. For women, it was approximately 41.

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. The immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and overproduction of thyroid hormones.

Common symptoms include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, irritability and eye problems (known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy or orbitopathy).

Subacute thyroiditis — also known as de Quervain thyroiditis — is a temporary inflammatory condition of the thyroid gland. It typically presents with a painful, tender, and enlarged thyroid gland, along with symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as weight loss, rapid heartbeat and heat intolerance.

As the inflammation subsides, patients may experience a period of hypothyroidism before the thyroid function returns to normal.

About 80% of people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 70% considered fully vaccinated, according to CDC data compiled by USA Facts



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