Mild hyperthyroidism affects the elderly heart

Mild hyperthyroidism is seen in 0.7 to 12.4% of the population. Patients with an overactive thyroid are assigned to two categories: patients with low, but detectable TSH values, and patients with undetectable TSH values. Patients with undetectable TSH are at greater risk to develop heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, an arrhythmia with chaotic heartbeat that causes poor blood circulation. This detrimental effect is most frequently seen in the elderly.19

An expert panel recently recommended that patients older than 60 years with undetectable TSH values should be treated17. For younger patients without symptoms, close monitoring seems appropriate.17,19

Useful Resources

If you want to know more about under- or over activity of your thyroid, visit the following websites:

Patient information by the Thyroid Federation International

Patient information on thyroid health published by the American Thyroid Association (ATA)

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References