Frequently Asked Questions

Is this more common in women?


We are asked this question several times per day because the patients and their families look around and see that most of the patient in our Parathyroid Center are women.

75% with hyperparathyroidism are women

We don’t know why women get hyperparathyroidism 3 times more often than men (75% women, 25% men), but it has been this way forever. It is this way in every country, for every race, and for as long as hyperparathyroidism has been known. Of course we think that the monthly hormone cycles that women get are taxing on the entire hormone system, but we really don’t know why.

The average age is 61

For both males and females, the average age of patients being operated on for hyperparathyroidism is 61. But since most of our patients have had a parathyroid tumor for at least 5 years (sometimes much longer), then we can assume that the average age for developing a parathyroid tumor is about 55.

Every age can get a parathyroid tumor

Although the average age of a patient getting a parathyroid operation is 61, we operate on patients over 80 years of age virtually every day, and people over 90 about every week or two. We operate on teenagers about every 2 weeks, far more than any other institution in the world. We’ve operated on patients as young as 9 years old, and as old as 105. Interestingly, operating on our oldest patients is often the easiest as these patients do amazing after a quick surgery and are typically gone from the hospital in an hour or so.