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Heart Watch Blog: Overactive Thyroid Causes Abnormal Heart Rhythm

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March 1, 2006

Overactive Thyroid Causes Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Overactive Thyroid Causes Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Having an overactive thyroid gland is linked with an increased risk for atrial fibrillation (a type of abnormal heart rhythm), but neither an over- or under active thyroid gland is associated with a higher risk for other cardiovascular problems or increased risk of death, according to a study in the March 1 issue of JAMA.

Thyroid hormone excess and deficiency are common, and can be readily diagnosed and treated. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) may represent a cardiac risk factor. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most common cause of death in the U.S. Even mildly altered thyroid status reportedly affects serum cholesterol levels, heart rhythm and rate, ventricular function, risk of coronary artery disease, and cardiovascular death. However, the relationship between abnormal thyroid function and cardiovascular outcomes remains unclear, according to background information in the article.

The researchers found that 82 percent of participants had normal thyroid function, 15 percent had subclinical (before symptoms) hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), 1.6 percent had symptomatic hypothyroidism, and 1.5 percent had subclinical hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland). After exclusion of those who had atrial fibrillation at the start of the study, individuals with subclinical hyperthyroidism had nearly twice the incidence of developing atrial fibrillation compared with those with normal thyroid function. No differences were seen between the subclinical hyperthyroidism group and the normal thyroid function group for the occurrence of coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular death, or all-cause death. Likewise, there were no differences between the subclinical hypothyroidism or symptomatic hypothyroidism groups and the normal thyroid function group for cardiovascular outcomes or death.



Daniel      



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b>Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Overactive Thyroid Causes Abnormal Heart Rhythm

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