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J Cardiometab Syndr. 2007 Summer;2(3):198-206.

Cardiovascular risk with subclinical hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism: pathophysiology and management.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.


Previous studies have suggested that subclinical thyroid dysfunction, as manifested by abnormalities in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, are associated with detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system. Subclinical hypothyroidism is characterized by abnormal lipid metabolism, cardiac dysfunction, diastolic hypertension conferring an elevated risk of atherosclerosis, and ischemic heart disease. Similarly, patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism have nearly 3 times the likelihood of atrial fibrillation over a 10-year follow-up interval, raising the question of whether patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism should be treated to prevent atrial fibrillation. A single measurement of low serum TSH in individuals aged 60 years or older has been reported to be associated with increased mortality from all causes and in particular from circulatory and cardiovascular disease in a 10-year follow-up study. Subclinical thyroid dysfunction is currently the subject of numerous studies and remains controversial, particularly as it relates to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and clinical applications.

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