Tests for thyroid dysfunction
For health professionals
Thyroid function tests are useful to detect thyroid dysfunction in people with clinical symptoms or those at increased risk of developing the disorder. In a person who is thought to have a thyroid dysfunction, testing assists diagnosis and allows GPs to start appropriate management before complications develop.
In the past decade, GP requests for thyroid function tests have increased by 51% (2001/02 to 2010/11). But the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction has not increased.
The NPS MedicineWise program about preventive health activities in general practice discusses why thyroid function tests may not be appropriate to request routinely for healthy people aged 40–49 years who have no known risk factors.