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Am J Med. 2015 Jan;128(1):30-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.07.014. Epub 2014 Jul 21.

History of thyroid disorders in relation to clinical outcomes in atrial fibrillation.

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  • 1Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau et Faculté de Médecine, Université François Rabelais, Tours, France.
  • 2Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau et Faculté de Médecine, Université François Rabelais, Tours, France. Electronic address:



Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac complication of hyperthyroidism. The association between history of hyperthyroidism and stroke remains unclear. We sought to determine whether history of thyroid dysfunction is a thromboembolic risk factor in patients with atrial fibrillation.


Patients with atrial fibrillation seen in an academic institution between 2000 and 2010 were identified and followed-up. Clinical events (stroke/systemic embolism, bleeding, all-cause death) were recorded and related to thyroid status and disorders. Associations were examined in time-dependent models with adjustment for relevant confounders.


Among 8962 patients, 141 patients had a history of hyperthyroidism, 540 had a history of hypothyroidism, and 8271 had no thyroid dysfunction. Mean follow-up was 929 ± 1082 days. A total of 715 strokes/systemic embolism were recorded, with no significant difference in the rates of these events in patients with a history of thyroid dysfunction vs those without thyroid problems in either univariate or multivariable analysis (hazard ratio [HR] 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41-1.76 for hyperthyroidism; HR 0.98; 95% CI, 0.73-1.34 for hypothyroidism). There were 791 bleeding events; history of hypothyroidism was independently related to a higher rate of bleeding events (HR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.02-1.79). No significant difference among the 3 groups was observed for the incidence of death.


History of hyperthyroidism was not an independent risk factor for stroke/systemic embolism in atrial fibrillation, whereas hypothyroidism was associated with a higher risk of bleeding events. These data suggest no additional benefit from the inclusion of thyroid dysfunction in thromboembolic prediction models in atrial fibrillation.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Atrial fibrillation; Hyperthyroidism; Hypothyroidism; Stroke

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