Hashimoto's Disease Facts and Statistics: What You Need to Know

Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis

Hashimoto's disease is the most common thyroid disorder in the United States. Around 14 million Americans are affected. It is an autoimmune disease that involves inflammation of the thyroid gland. This happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells.

Learn important facts and statistics you should know about Hashimoto's disease.

Young woman getting her thyroid checked by a healthcare provider.

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Hashimoto's Disease Overview

Hashimoto's disease occurs when your immune system attacks healthy cells in the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation. It most commonly causes an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), but in some rare cases, can cause an overactive thyroid. Hashimoto's is also referred to as autoimmune thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.

How Common Is Hashimoto's Disease?

Hashimoto's disease is considered an autoimmune thyroid disease, or AITD, and is the most common type. Approximately 5% of Americans have AITDs. However, it is not clear how many people have Hashimoto's disease specifically. Each year, 8 in 100 men and 35 in 100 women are diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease.

Hashimoto's Disease by Ethnicity

Like many conditions, thyroid diseases, including Hashimoto's disease, affect different groups of people differently. Race and ethnicity usually don't determine your chance of developing the condition.

However, White Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease compared to people who are Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander. Hispanic people experience Hashimoto's disease at higher rates than people who are Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander, but not as high as people who are White.

In the United States, Hashimoto's disease is most common among White people, followed by Hispanic people.

Hashimoto's Disease by Age and Gender

In addition to race, people are at different risks of Hashimoto's disease depending on age and gender. While people can experience the disease in any year of life, including childhood, adulthood, and the elderly years, it is most likely to affect people who are middle-aged. Additionally, women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than men.

Hashimoto's disease happens most often among women who are between 40 and 60 years old.


Babies can be born with Hashimoto's disease, which is known as congenital hypothyroidism. However, the disease is much more likely to occur in children who are 6 years old or older. About 1% to 2% of children experience Hashimoto's disease.

Compared to children, Hashimoto's disease is more common in adults. More specifically, it is most likely to occur in people between 40 and 60 years old. However, the symptoms can appear at any time.


Gender may be the biggest risk factor for developing Hashimoto's disease. Women are up to 10 times as likely to develop Hashimoto's disease compared to men. Additionally, pregnancy can be a time of increased risk, as some women develop the condition while they are pregnant.

It is not entirely known why Hashimoto's disease is so much more common among women, but it is thought to be related to how the immune system functions in women vs. men.

Compared to men, women are up to 10 times as likely to develop Hashimoto's disease.

Causes of Hashimoto's Disease and Risk Factors

The specific causes of Hashimoto's disease are not entirely known. It is an autoimmune disease that happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the thyroid, which can prevent the body from being able to produce thyroid hormone. Hashimoto's is believed to be caused by:

Hashimoto's Disease Risk Factors

  • A relative with Hashimoto's disease
  • Being a woman, middle-aged, or White
  • Having another autoimmune condition
  • Pregnancy and the postpartum phase
  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices

What Are the Mortality Rates for Hashimoto's Disease?

The mortality rates (rates of dying) of Hashimoto's disease are unknown. Other health conditioins, such as heart disease, can co-occur with Hashimoto's and may contribute to mortality rates. If left untreated, Hashimoto's disease can lead to death, but with treatment, people are able to stabilize and manage the condition.

Screening and Early Detection

It is important to seek the support of a medical professional if Hashimoto's disease is suspected. This is especially true in pregnancy, when it can lead to negative health effects for both the mother and baby, including:

Hashimoto's disease is diagnosed with a medical history to determine genetic risk, a physical exam, and blood tests to monitor hormone levels. Early screening, detection, and treatment can help to prevent possible complications such as heart disease and failure and the slowing of bodily functions.


Hashimoto's disease is a medical condition classified as an autoimmune disease. When the immune system attacks healthy cells in the thyroid gland it can lead to inflammation and prevent the thyroid from properly functioning. This usually leads to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), and in rare cases, can lead to overactivity (hyperthyroidism).

This condition affects about 14 million Americans and is most common among middle-aged White women.

However, people of all races, ages, and genders can experience Hashimoto's disease. Other risk factors include genetics and environment. While it can lead to death in severe cases, it is treatable, and there are options available to stabilize hormone levels and manage Hashimoto's disease.

12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Ashley Olivine, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Ashley Olivine is a health psychologist and public health professional with over a decade of experience serving clients in the clinical setting and private practice. She has also researched a wide variety psychology and public health topics such as the management of health risk factors, chronic illness, maternal and child wellbeing, and child development.