Excess mortality in treated and untreated hyperthyroidism is related to cumulative periods of low serum TSH

Mads Lillevang-Johansen*, Bo Abrahamsen, Henrik Løvendahl Jørgensen, Thomas Heiberg Brix, Laszlo Hegedüs

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Introduction and Aim: Cumulative time-dependent excess mortality in hyperthyroid patients has been suggested. However, the effect of antithyroid treatment on mortality, especially in subclinical hyperthyroidism, remains unclarified. We investigated the association between hyperthyroidism and mortality in both treated and untreated hyperthyroid individuals. Patients and Methods: Register-based cohort study of 235,547 individuals who had at least one serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measurement in the period 1995 to 2011 (7.3 years median follow-up). Hyperthyroidism was defined as at least two measurements of low serum TSH. Mortality rates for treated and untreated hyperthyroid subjects compared with euthyroid controls were calculated using multivariate Cox regression analyses, controlling for age, sex, and comorbidities. Cumulative periods of decreased serum TSH were analyzed as a time-dependent covariate. Results: Hazard ratio (HR) for mortality was increased in untreated [1.23; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.12 to 1.37; P < 0.001], but not in treated, hyperthyroid patients. When including cumulative periods of TSH in the Cox regression analyses, HR for mortality per every 6 months of decreased TSH was 1.11 (95% CI, 1.09 to 1.13; P < 0.0001) in untreated hyperthyroid patients (n = 1137) and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.11 to 1.15; P < 0.0001) in treated patients (n = 1656). This corresponds to a 184% and 239% increase in mortality after 5 years of decreased TSH in untreated and treated hyperthyroidism, respectively. Conclusions: Mortality is increased in hyperthyroidism. Cumulative periods of decreased TSH increased mortality in both treated and untreated hyperthyroidism, implying that excess mortality may not be driven by lack of therapy, but rather inability to keep patients euthyroid. Meticulous follow-up during treatment to maintain biochemical euthyroidism may be warranted.

Sider (fra-til)2301-2309
Antal sider9
TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Udgave nummer7
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2017


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