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Clin Cardiol. 2009 Jul;32(7):380-5. doi: 10.1002/clc.20574.

Thyroid hormone and coronary artery disease: from clinical correlations to prognostic implications.

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  • 1Fondazione CNR-Regione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio, Pisa, Italy.



Overt thyroid dysfunction, hypothyroidism in particular, may lead to coronary artery disease (CAD). Whether more subtle anomalies of thyroid hormone metabolism influence the progression of CAD remains a matter of speculation.


The occurrence of CAD and long-term prognosis in patients without a history of either primary thyroid disease, myocardial infarction, or chronic heart failure is related to serum levels of biologically active free triiodothyronine (fT3).


The cohort consisted of 1047 clinically and biochemically euthyroid patients (median age 65.6 y and 69% male) who underwent coronary angiography in our institute for suspected CAD.


Lower fT3 levels were predictive of both single-vessel (p = 0.012) and multivessel (p = 0.009) CAD. Through a multivariate logistic regression analysis, fT3 was still linked to the presence of CAD (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.34-0.68, p < 0.001). After a mean follow-up of 31 months, the survival rate was 95% and total mortality (log-rank 6.75, p = 0.009), as well as cardiac mortality (log-rank 8.26, p = 0.004), was greater among patients with low T3 (fT3 < 2.10 pg/mL) syndrome. At subsequent multivariate Cox regression analysis, the association between low T3 syndrome and survival was maintained (total mortality HR: 1.80, 95% CI: 1.05-3.10, p = 0.034; cardiac mortality HR: 2.58, 95% CI: 1.13-5.93, p = 0.025).


In this selected population, fT3 levels were inversely correlated to the presence of CAD and low T3 syndrome conferred an adverse prognosis, even after adjusting for traditional coronary risk factors.

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