(HealthDay News) — Subclinical hyperthyroidism is not associated with increased total or cardiovascular mortality, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), held from Sept 19–23 in Montreal.

Paige Fortinsky, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the risks of cardiovascular and total mortality in a group of 70 U.S. community-dwelling adults (60% women) aged 65 and older (mean age, 73.7) with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Participants were followed up over 10 years and compared with a reference group of euthyroid individuals.

For the 44 participants with subclinical hyperthyroidism who obtained follow-up thyroid testing or were taking thyroid medication at follow-up, the researchers found that subclinical hyperthyroidism persisted in 43%, while 41% became euthyroid, 11% started taking thyroid medication, and 5% progressed to overt hyperthyroidism. Compared with euthyroid individuals, the risk of total or cardiovascular mortality was not significantly associated with subclinical hyperthyroidism.

“Hyperthyroidism is associated with a number of health concerns, chief among them being cardiovascular disease,” Douglas Forrest, PhD, program co-chair of the annual ATA meeting, said in a statement. “Though subclinical hyperthyroidism mimics some of the features of classic hyperthyroidism, new data show that a link to cardiovascular disease is not one of them.”

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