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J Affect Disord. 1998 Jul;50(1):33-40.

Thyroid disorders in lithium-treated patients.

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  • 1Division of Psychological Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK. kirov@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the rate of thyroid disorders prior to lithium treatment, and which patients have a higher risk for developing such disorders during such treatment.

METHOD:

Assessment of the thyroid histories and laboratory results of 209 lithium-treated patients with affective disorders from one catchment area.

RESULTS:

Six female patients had thyrotoxicosis before starting lithium, a rate of 4.9%. Twenty patients developed hypothyroidism during the treatment: 3.4% of all males and 14.9% of all females. Female patients over the age of 50 were more likely to develop early lithium-induced hypothyroidism.

CONCLUSIONS:

(1) Female patients with affective disorders might have an increased rate of thyrotoxicosis. (2) Lithium-induced hypothyroidism might develop earlier in female patients over the age of 50.

LIMITATIONS:

Retrospective design of the study.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

(1) The thyroid status of patients with affective disorders might be more relevant than is appreciated. (2) Guidelines for thyroid tests in lithium-treated patients should reflect the different risks conferred by age and gender.

PMID:
9716277
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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