Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Intern Med. 2017 Mar;38:17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2016.12.015. Epub 2016 Dec 28.

Subclinical hypothyroidism, lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease.

Author information

Clinica Medica, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Sassari, Viale San Pietro 8, 07100, Sassari, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Sassari - Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Sassari, Viale San Pietro 8, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
Center for developmental biology and reprogramming - CEDEBIOR, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro 43/B, 07100 Sassari, Italy; Istituto di Ricerca Genetica e Biomedica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Monserrato, Cagliari, Italy; National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems at the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, S. Orsola - Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.


Subclinical hypothyroidism is defined by elevated serum thyrotropin in presence of normal free thyroid hormones. Lipid metabolism is influenced by thyroid hormone and many reports showed that lipids status worsen along with TSH level. Subclinical hypothyroidism has been also linked to other cardiovascular risk factors such as alteration in blood pressure and increased atherosclerosis. Further evidences suggested that mild dysfunction of thyroid gland is associated with metabolic syndrome and heart failure. Thyrotropin level seems the best predictor of cardiovascular disease, in particular when its levels are above 10mU/L. However, despite these observations, there is no clear evidence that levothyroxine therapy in subjects with milder form of subclinical hypothyroidism could improve lipid status and the other cardiovascular risk factors. In this review, we address the effect of thyroid hormone and cardiovascular risk, with a focus on lipid metabolism.


Cardiovascular disease; Cardiovascular risk; Lipid metabolism; Subclinical hypothyroidism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center