Treating Hyperthyroidism in Older Persons

Most people over sixty with Graves' disease (see Chapter 6) or toxic nodules (see Chapter 8) will be offered the same options for treatment as a younger person. The one exception is surgery, which is sometimes too risky for people in this age group who have other health problems or who may be frail. Radioactive iodine is not dangerous to older persons, although many older people fear it more than younger people do and may be more inclined to refuse it. Generally, radioactive iodine therapy (see Chapter 12) is preferable in this age group because it is reliable, effective, and (aside from hypothyroidism) free of side effects.

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