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Thyroid hormones and cardiovascular disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Avais Jabbar, Professor Simon PearceORCiD, Professor Azfar Zaman, Dr Salman Razvi


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Myocardial and vascular endothelial tissues have receptors for thyroid hormones and are sensitive to changes in the concentrations of circulating thyroid hormones. The importance of thyroid hormones in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis can be deduced from clinical and experimental data showing that even subtle changes in thyroid hormone concentrations — such as those observed in subclinical hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and low triiodothyronine syndrome — adversely influence the cardiovascular system. Some potential mechanisms linking the two conditions are dyslipidaemia, endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure changes, and direct effects of thyroid hormones on the myocardium. Several interventional trials showed that treatment of subclinical thyroid diseases improves cardiovascular risk factors, which implies potential benefits for reducing cardiovascular events. Over the past 2 decades, accumulating evidence supports the association between abnormal thyroid function at the time of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) and subsequent adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Furthermore, experimental studies showed that thyroid hormones can have an important therapeutic role in reducing infarct size and improving myocardial function after acute MI. In this Review, we summarize the literature on thyroid function in cardiovascular diseases, both as a risk factor as well as in the setting of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure or acute MI, and outline the effect of thyroid hormone replacement therapy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jabbar A, Pingitore A, Pearce SHS, Zaman A, Iervasi G, Razvi S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Reviews Cardiology

Year: 2017

Volume: 14

Pages: 39-55

Online publication date: 04/11/2016

Acceptance date: 20/09/2016

ISSN (print): 1759-5002

ISSN (electronic): 1759-5010

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/nrcardio.2016.174


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Career Development Fellowship
CDF - 2012-05-231National Institute for Health Research Career Development Fellowship
G0500783MRC Grant