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Mary Shomon

Borderline Thyroid Problems? Failure to Treat Doubles Heart Risk

By October 9, 2007

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A new study presented at last week's Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) reported that people with subclinical hypothyroidism—a slightly underactive thyroid—are twice as likely to develop heart failure compared to those with normal thyroid levels. (The ATA defined subclinical hypothyroidism as a TSH level above 4.5, with normal free thyroxine (Free T4) levels.)

Study author Doug Bauer, M.D., said, according to the ATA press release: "If other studies confirm these findings, then physicians might want to consider treating mild thyroid problems to prevent potential cardiac problems or to avoid increasing the severity of an existing heart condition."

According to the ATA's press statement, this is the first time a large study found that even mild hypothyroidism has a negative effect on heart function.

Strangely enough to me, though, while the experts seem to keep announcing this as if it's news, studies regularly come out (like the one below) saying that even subclinical hypothyroidism should be treated because of the implications for heart disease. Are the experts reading any of these studies?

More Information

Should Doctors Treat Subclinical Hypothyroidism to Help Prevent Heart Disease?

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