China sees increase in hypothyroidism cases

A recent study conducted by the Chinese Medical Association's endocrinology branch shows that approximately one in 15 citizens is suffering from hypothyroidism. According to China Daily, this could be related to the nation's 1995 mandate to add iodine to salt.

The survey sampled more than 15,000 people in 10 Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai over the course of 17 months.

"The rising trend of thyroid problems is evidently seen on the mainland in recent years, but solid evidence of a link between iodized salt and the surge in thyroid ailments has yet to be confirmed," Teng Weiping, head of the endocrine research institute of the China Medical University, told the news source.

Iodine deficiency is widely known to cause thyroid problems; however, excessive intake may lead to problems as well. The study also found that the prevalence of nodular goiters had increased to nearly 19 percent on the mainland, but was only 10 percent in the 1990s.

Each year, the nation has at least 50 million cases of thyroid-related problems and a great majority remain undiagnosed, Weiping told China Daily.

According to the National Cancer Institute, women are more likely to develop thyroid cancer.