The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism | 31 May 2013
CM Rhee, GC Curhan, EK Alexander, I Bhan and SM Brunelli
Context:Studies examining the association between subclinical hypothyroidism and mortality have yielded conflicting results. Emerging data suggest these associations may depend upon underlying congestive heart failure (CHF) and/or race, but this has not been empirically determined.Objective:Our objective was to examine the association between subclinical hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism overall with mortality according to pre-existing CHF and race.Design and Participants:We examined the associations of subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH higher than assay upper limit of normal; total T4 within reference) and hypothyroidism overall (TSH higher than assay upper limit of normal; total T4 below lower limit of normal or within reference) with all-cause mortality among Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants stratified by CHF and race using multivariable Cox models. To confirm whether differences between strata were statistically significant, we tested for interaction on the basis of CHF (separately) and race by likelihood ratio testing.Results:There were 14ü130 (95.0%) euthyroid controls and 749 (5.0%) participants with hypothyroidism, 691 (4.6%) of whom had subclinical disease. Subclinical hypothyroidism vs euthyroidism was associated with greater mortality in those with CHF but not in those without: adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) = 1.44 (1.01-2.06) and 0.97 (0.85-1.11), respectively (P interaction = .03). Similar findings were observed for hypothyroidism overall. Hypothyroidism overall vs euthyroidism was associated with greater mortality in Black participants (HR = 1.44 [95% CI = 1.03-2.03]) but not in non-Blacks (HR = 0.95 [95% CI = 0.83-1.08]) (P interaction = .03).Conclusion:Among participants with CHF, subclinical hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism overall are associated with greater death risk. Additional studies are needed to confirm findings and explore possible mechanisms for the differential hypothyroidism-mortality association across race.
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