From: Reuters
Published May 23, 2008 01:01 PM

Silent thyroid dysfunction has risks: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who have an underactive or overactive thyroid without symptoms appear to have a modestly increased risk of heart disease.

The data suggest that silent or "subclinical" thyroid dysfunction "might represent a potentially modifiable -- albeit modest -- risk factor for coronary heart disease and mortality," Dr. Nicholas Rodondi, from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues wrote in a report.

Their findings are based on pooled data from 12 studies identified through a search of MEDLINE (1950 to 2008). Ten of the studies involved population-based groups that included 14,449 subjects.

All of the population-based studies examined the impact of subclinical hypothyroidism on heart disease and mortality, whereas only five looked at the effect of subclinical hyperthyroidism, the report indicates.

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The likelihood of coronary heart disease, heart-related death, and death from any cause was higher by 20 percent, 18 percent, and 12 percent, respectively, in subjects with an underactive thyroid without symptoms -- also referred to as subclinical hypothyroidism.

People with an overactive thyroid but without symptoms (i.e., silent hyperthyroidism) had a 21 percent, 19 percent, and 12 percent greater odds, respectively, of heart disease, heart-related death, and death from any cause.

Rodondi and colleagues say studies are needed to determine the impact of treating these two conditions on heart disease risk.

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, online May 20.

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