Thyroid Trouble Raises Heart Risk

Study finds increased odds of heart failure as thyroid fails

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TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with a specific thyroid condition are at increased risk of congestive heart failure, but not other cardiovascular problems or death, a new study finds.

People with the condition, called subclinical hypothyroidism, have elevated levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and normal levels of the hormone thyroxine. Subclinical hypothyroidism prevalence increases with age, and around 10 percent of people over 70 years of age have the condition.

This study of 2,730 men and women, aged 70 to 79, found that those with moderate or severe subclinical hypothyroidism were at a significantly increased risk of congestive heart failure (CHF), while those with milder forms of the condition were not.

"In this population-based study of older adults, subclinical hypothyroidism was associated with a higher rate of incident and recurrent congestive heart failure among participants with a TSH level of 7.0 mIU/L or greater," wrote researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. They added that, "this association persisted after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors."

The study appears in the Nov. 28 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Further investigation is also warranted to assess whether subclinical hypothyroidism causes or worsens pre-existing heart failure," the research team said.

More information

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has more about thyroid disease.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Nov. 28, 2005

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