Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thyroid medication has no effect on death rates in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism

Date:
May 4, 2014
Source:
European Society of Endocrinology
Summary:
Treating subclinical hypothyroidism with levothyroxine has no effect on overall mortality rates, according to research. Subclinical hypothyroidism is a mild form of underactive thyroid disease where patients have raised levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) but a normal concentration of free thyroid hormone. This condition is associated with certain risk factors for increased mortality such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Treating subclinical hypothyroidism with levothyroxine has no effect on overall mortality rates, according to research presented today at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Wrocław, Poland.

Subclinical hypothyroidism is a mild form of underactive thyroid disease where patients have raised levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) but a normal concentration of free thyroid hormone. This condition is associated with certain risk factors for increased mortality such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There is some debate within the medical community on whether it is effective to treat these patients with a medication called levothyroxine, which increases thyroid hormone levels. Although this treatment is generally well-tolerated, a number of side-effects can occur if thyroid hormone levels are raised too much.

Researchers from Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark examined the medical records of 628,953 patients who had received thyroid function tests from 2000-2009. 12,212 (1.9%) patients were diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism. Of these, 2,483 patients (20.3%) were prescribed levothyroxine within the first six months. The remaining 9,729 patients (79.7%) either started levothyroxine therapy later than six months after their initial blood test, or did not receive any substitution treatment.

Patients were then followed for a mean time of five years. During follow up, 1,566 of the subclinical hypothyroidism patients died. There was no significant difference in mortality rates between patients who received levothyroxine treatment and those who did not.

Research Fellow, Mette Andersen, who led the study, said, "This is the largest population-based study to examine whether levothyroxine treatment for patients with subclinical hypothyroidism can affect their mortality. Using readily-available registry data, we were able to examine a large population and compare treated versus untreated subclinical hypothyroidism patients with respect to all-cause mortality."

"Our main finding was that levothyroxine treatment had no effect on overall death rates in subclinical hypothyroidism patients. Although previous studies have indicated that levothyroxine treatment may improve some markers of heart function, we found no evidence that this translates into increased survival for these patients."

"Any patients who are worried about their treatment should visit their doctor to discuss their concerns," concluded Andersen.

The team now plan to examine the effect of levothyroxine medication on a subset of subclinical hypothyroidism patients who also have heart conditions in more detail.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

European Society of Endocrinology. "Thyroid medication has no effect on death rates in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140504095318.htm>.
European Society of Endocrinology. (2014, May 4). Thyroid medication has no effect on death rates in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140504095318.htm
European Society of Endocrinology. "Thyroid medication has no effect on death rates in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140504095318.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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