Quality of life aspects and costs in treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism with antithyroid drugs, surgery, or radioiodine: results from a prospective, randomized study

Thyroid. 1998 Aug;8(8):653-9. doi: 10.1089/thy.1998.8.653.


The patients' views and costs of three different forms of treatment for Graves' hyperthyroidism were investigated. The study comprises 174 patients with Graves' hyperthyroidism who were stratified into two age groups: 20 to 34 years and 35 to 55 years. The younger group was randomly assigned to treatment with antithyroid drug plus thyroxine for 18 months or subtotal thyroidectomy, and in the older group iodine-131 was added as a third alternative. The patients' views of their therapy were based on a questionnaire formulated to identify possible differences between the three treatment forms. The costs were assessed by analyzing the official hospital reimbursement system for both outpatient and inpatient costs for a period of 2 years from the day of randomization. The results show that no significant differences in opinion were found between the five treatment groups with regard to any of the questions. Furthermore, only 10% of the patients expressed slight and 3% major hesitation to recommend the treatment form received to a friend with similar disease. Twenty percent of the patients with endocrine ophthalmopathy reported the eye problems to be much more troublesome and 14% somewhat more troublesome than the thyroid problems. The cost proportion between the medical and surgical treatment in the young group was 1:2.5 (1 = 1126 United States dollars [USD]) before and 1:1.3 (1 = 2284 USD) after inclusion of the relapse costs. The proportion between the medical, surgical, and iodine-131 treatment in the older group was 1:2.5:1.6 (1 = 1164 USD) before and 1:1.6:1.4 (1 = 1972 USD) after inclusion of the relapse costs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / economics*
  • Graves Disease / psychology
  • Graves Disease / therapy*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / economics*
  • Male
  • Methimazole / economics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recurrence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thyroidectomy / economics*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Methimazole