Public Release: 1-Apr-2017
People with higher thyroid hormone levels may be at greater risk for atherosclerosis
The Endocrine Society
Middle-aged and elderly people with higher free thyroxine levels may be more likely to develop atherosclerotic diseases, new research from the Netherlands reports. The results of the study will be presented Sunday, April 2, at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.
"Coronary heart disease and stroke remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide, despite advances in prevention and treatment. Therefore, identifying additional modifiable risk factors for atherosclerosis is of major importance," said lead study author Arjola Bano, M.D., M.Sc., D.Sc., who is a Ph.D. candidate at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The researchers accounted for the possible influence of age, gender, body mass index, total cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol and tobacco intake, and the use of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs in their statistical analyses.
Over a median followup of 8.8 years, 1,130 atherosclerotic events and 580 atherosclerotic deaths occurred in the population. Higher free thyroxine (FT4) levels in these patients were associated with elevated risk of atherosclerotic morbidity and mortality independent of cardiovascular risk factors.
The authors also found that higher FT4 levels were associated with greater risk of subclinical atherosclerosis.