Putting Prevention into Practice

An Evidence-Based Approach

Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction


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Am Fam Physician. 2015 Oct 15;92(8):717-718.

  Related U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement: Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction: Recommendation Statement

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

Case Study

A 40-year-old woman presents for a routine well-woman examination. She is not pregnant, is in good health, reports no symptoms, and her physical examination is unremarkable. After seeing a health news segment on television, she asks if she should have her thyroid function checked.

Case Study Questions

  1. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which one of the following is most accurate for this patient?

    • A. She should have her serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level checked annually.

    • B. She should have her serum thyroxine (T4) level checked annually.

    • C. There is not enough evidence to know whether screening for thyroid dysfunction will be of net benefit to her.

    • D. She should not be screened for thyroid dysfunction because the harms outweigh the benefits.

    • E. She should not be screened for thyroid dysfunction until she is 50 years of age.

  2. The USPSTF found clear evidence that early screening for and treatment of subclinical thyroid dysfunction in nonpregnant asymptomatic adults is associated with clinically meaningful improvements in which of the following?

    • A. Lipid levels.

    • B. Blood pressure.

    • C. Body mass index.

    • D. Bone mineral density.

    • E. None of the above.

  3. Which of the following statements

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.


Screening for thyroid dysfunction: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(9):641–650.

Rugge JB, Bougatsos C, Chou R. Screening and treatment of thyroid dysfunction: an evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(1):35–45.

This PPIP quiz is based on the recommendations of the USPSTF. More information is available in the USPSTF Recommendation Statement and the supporting documents on the USPSTF website (http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org). The practice recommendations in this activity are available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/thyroid-dysfunction-screening.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor. A collection of Putting Prevention into Practice published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/ppip.


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