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Heart Problems Can Persist in Hyperthyroidism Patients

Even with antithyroid treatment, palpitations, dypsnea, cough and other symptoms can linger

FRIDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with overt hyperthyroidism often have cardiovascular anomalies when they initially see a physician, and these symptoms can persist even with antithyroid treatment, researchers report in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Faizel Osman, M.D., of the University of Birmingham in England, and colleagues compared cardiac symptoms in 312 women and 81 men with overt hyperthyroidism and 393 matched euthyroid controls. Results were compared at recruitment, post treatment in patients with biochemical subclinical hyperthyroidism, and after antithyroid therapy when patients had become euthyroid.

The researchers found that hyperthyroid patients exhibited more cardiovascular anomalies and had more cardiac symptoms at first presentation than controls, especially supraventricular cardiac dysrhythmia. Treated subclinical hyperthyroidism patients had atrial fibrillation, palpitation, dyspnea, and a drop in systolic pressure more often than controls, even after being chemically rendered euthyroid.

Lower blood pressure at presentation and hypothyroidism caused by antithyroid treatment forecast the successful restoration of sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation connected to hyperthyroidism, the researchers report.

"Cardiovascular abnormalities are common in patients with overt hyperthyroidism at presentation, but some persist despite effective antithyroid therapy," the authors write.

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