Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Cardiol. 2017 Jan;14(1):39-55. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2016.174. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Thyroid hormones and cardiovascular disease.

Author information

Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3BZ, UK.
Freeman Hospital, Freeman Rd, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK.
Clinical Physiology Institute, CNR, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy.
Department of Endocrinology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK.
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Saltwell Road South, Gateshead NE8 4YL, UK.


Myocardial and vascular endothelial tissues have receptors for thyroid hormones and are sensitive to changes in the concentrations of circulating thyroid hormones. The importance of thyroid hormones in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis can be deduced from clinical and experimental data showing that even subtle changes in thyroid hormone concentrations - such as those observed in subclinical hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and low triiodothyronine syndrome - adversely influence the cardiovascular system. Some potential mechanisms linking the two conditions are dyslipidaemia, endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure changes, and direct effects of thyroid hormones on the myocardium. Several interventional trials showed that treatment of subclinical thyroid diseases improves cardiovascular risk factors, which implies potential benefits for reducing cardiovascular events. Over the past 2 decades, accumulating evidence supports the association between abnormal thyroid function at the time of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Furthermore, experimental studies showed that thyroid hormones can have an important therapeutic role in reducing infarct size and improving myocardial function after acute MI. In this Review, we summarize the literature on thyroid function in cardiovascular diseases, both as a risk factor as well as in the setting of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure or acute MI, and outline the effect of thyroid hormone replacement therapy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center