Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Elderly may be more likely to die if they have subclinical hyperthyroidism

Date:
June 6, 2011
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
A common hormone abnormality in older adults -- a mild form of overactive thyroid called subclinical hyperthyroidism -- is linked to a much higher risk of dying, a new study finds.

A common hormone abnormality in older adults -- a mild form of overactive thyroid called subclinical hyperthyroidism -- is linked to a much higher risk of dying, a new study finds.

Related Articles


The results are being presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

Because this condition sometimes does not even cause symptoms, elderly people may be unaware they have altered thyroid function until serious complications occur, said the study's main author, Graziano Ceresini, MD, PhD, a clinical researcher at the University of Parma in Italy.

"Subclinical hyperthyroidism can be responsible for important medical problems, such as cardiac arrhythmias -- irregular heartbeat -- as well as altered bone structure and cognitive abnormalities, especially in elderly individuals," Ceresini said. "Now we know that it also may be accompanied by increased mortality in people ages 65 and older."

In the new study, the investigators used data from the Italian Aging in the Chianti Area study to evaluate the relationship between thyroid function and death from all causes in older people. Thyroid function test results were available for 950 subjects age 65 or older. At enrollment in the study, 819 subjects (86 percent) had normal thyroid function and 83 (nearly 9 percent) had subclinical hyperthyroidism.

Technically, subclinical hyperthyroidism is a below-normal or undetectable blood concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with normal levels of the thyroid hormones called free T3 and T4.

In evaluating the death statistics, the researchers adjusted for age, sex and other factors that could bias the results, such as congestive heart failure, body mass index, cancer and stroke. They found that subjects who had subclinical hyperthyroidism at the beginning of the study had a 65 percent higher risk of dying during the six-year follow-up than did subjects with normal thyroid function.

"Although our results would suggest the need for thyroid function testing in elderly people, confirmation of our data by further studies is needed before a screening recommendation can be made. There are no current recommendations to test all elderly individuals for subclinical hyperthyroidism," Ceresini said.

He suggested, however, that elderly persons with signs of subclinical hyperthyroidism, especially arrhythmias or thyroid disease, should ask their doctor about getting a thyroid function test. Other symptoms may include weight loss, feeling too hot and nervousness.

Subclinical hypothyroidism, or a mildly underactive thyroid, also is common in elderly people but in this study was not linked to decreased survival. There were not enough subjects with overt underactive or overactive thyroid to analyze their death risk, the authors reported.

The National Institute on Aging participated in and helped fund this study. Both the Italian Ministry of Health and the Italian Ministry of University and Research also provided funding.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Elderly may be more likely to die if they have subclinical hyperthyroidism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606092515.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2011, June 6). Elderly may be more likely to die if they have subclinical hyperthyroidism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606092515.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Elderly may be more likely to die if they have subclinical hyperthyroidism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606092515.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) A survey of Boston mothers and toddlers found that 15 percent of two-year-olds drink coffee and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins