VISHAKAPATNAM, 09 May 2015 – Abbott, one of India’s leading healthcare companies, in partnership with the Indian Thyroid Society (ITS) today announced a thyroid awareness initiative in Coastal Andhra Pradesh under its ‘Make India Thyroid Aware’ program. The initiative aims to bring greater understanding of thyroid disorders and their related conditions, and increase access to diagnosis.
Under this initiative, a mobile van raising awareness on common symptoms of thyroid disorders will cover 22 cities across Coastal Andhra Pradesh, potentially reaching out to over 5,00,000 people. The cities covered include Palasa, Srikakulam, Vizianagram, Gajuwaka, Anakapalli, Chodavaram, Narsipatnam, Yelamanchili, Tuni, Pitapuram, Samarlakot, Ramchandrapuram, Anaparthy, Rajanagaram, Mandapeta, Amlapuram, Palakolu, Tanuku, Tadepalligudem, Bhimadole, Jangareddygudem and Chintalpudi.
Information on doctor clinics in these cities where people can go and have their thyroid tested at a discounted rate will also be made available. In addition, people can call a toll free number: 1800 3000 2022 to get details on this initiative for their city and on general information related to thyroid disorders. They can also visit www.thyroidindia.com, a website that provides information about thyroid disorders.
The mobile van which starts its East Godavari leg on 18 May will reach out to people in the following cities over the next few weeks.
According to a recent Thyroid Epidemiological (EPI) Study  conducted across eight urban cities in India, one in 10 adults in India are affected by hypothyroidism and women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Also, almost one-third of people living with hypothyroidism were not aware of the condition and were diagnosed for the first time during the course of study. This indicates that a significant percentage of the population suffering from thyroid disorders do not seek the necessary treatment and might even be unaware that they have a thyroid problem. Abbott and ITS through initiatives under the “Making India Thyroid Aware” program, are working to increase awareness about thyroid disorders, which could lead to early detection and diagnosis. One such initiative was a similar awareness drive in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu last year where over 650,000 people were reached across 60 cities in the three states.
Says Dr. RV Jayakumar, President Indian Thyroid Society, “Abbott shares our vision of spreading awareness on thyroid disorders and we are delighted to support and partner with Abbott on the ‘Making India Thyroid Aware’ program. There is a significant need to reach out to the Indian people and make them aware of the causes, symptoms, treatment and the importance of testing for thyroid problems. Women are at the heart of this campaign given the higher incidence of thyroid disorders amongst women and the increased vulnerability to thyroid disorders in pregnant women.”
Rehan A Khan, Managing Director, Abbott India Limited says, “Abbott wants to help individuals and families live their lives at their healthiest and we believe this starts with understanding. Through this partnership initiative with the Indian Thyroid Society, we hope to empower people, especially women, with information about thyroid disorders and encourage people to seek timely diagnosis and treatment if needed. As leaders in thyroid management we are committed to helping ‘Make India Thyroid Aware’.”
Last year, Abbott, in partnership with ITS reached out to over 10 lakh people through more than 8000 diagnosis and education camps across India.
Dr. CH Vara Lakshmi, Gynecologist from Pitapuram says, “This initiative by Abbott and the Indian Thyroid Society will highlight the importance of testing and help us diagnose thyroid disorders at the right stage. We want to encourage people to proactively seek more information on thyroid disorders, get tested early and maintain their quality of life through appropriate treatment. I hope people will come out in large numbers and participate in this awareness drive and benefit from the opportunity to check their thyroid health.”
Globally, thyroid disorders continue to be common yet one of the most under-diagnosed and neglected chronic health conditions. These disorders impair normal functioning of the thyroid gland causing abnormal production of hormones leading to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The prevalence of hypothyroidism in the developed world is estimated to be about 4-5%. In India, 1 in every 10 adults is affected by hypothyroidism, with adults aged 35 and over being at a higher risk. Hypothyroidism is three times more common in women than in men. 
If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause elevated cholesterol levels, an increase in blood pressure, an increased rate of cardiovascular complications, decreased fertility, and depression; and in pregnant women, placental abnormalities and increased risks for the baby’s well-being. These symptoms are often confused with other disorders, thus making thyroid disorders one of the most underdiagnosed disorders in India. Like diabetes, there is no permanent cure for most forms of thyroid disorders, but with medication and precise treatment, thyroid disorders can be controlled and people can lead normal lives. 
‘MAKE INDIA THYROID AWARE’ DRIVES IN 2014 AT LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH (LEFT); GONDA, UTTAR PRADESH (MIDDLE); AND TIRUPPUR, TAMIL NADU (RIGHT)
About Indian Thyroid Society
To tackle thyroid-related issues from a purely Indian perspective, the National Consensus Conference on Differentiated Thyroid Cancer was held at Kochi, Kerala in 2003. It was attended by a constellation of stalwarts from the field of endocrinology, thyroid surgery and nuclear medicine. At this juncture, a decision was made to form the Indian Thyroid Society (ITS). The society aims to provide a forum for all surgeons, endocrinologists, nuclear physicians and physicians with a special interest in thyroidology. The Indian Thyroid Society has over 350 members across India, with headquarters in Cochin, Kerala. The society has been running a journal and has been conducting annual conferences since 2004, in addition to being committed to improve research, education and patient care in the field of thyroidology. The latest initiative by ITS is the launch of the textbook on thyroid.
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 73,000 people.
In India, Abbott has more than 14,000 employees working in manufacturing, research and development, logistics, sales and marketing and is headquartered in Mumbai.
Visit Abbott at www.abbott.com and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.
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2. Unnikrishnan, et al.: Prevalence of hypothyroidism in India, Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism / Jul-Aug 2013 / Vol 17 | Issue 4 6
3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)