June 12, 2024

Thyrotoxicosis Increases Risk for Cognitive Disorders in Older Adults, Shows Study

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has revealed an association between thyrotoxicosis and an increased risk of incident cognitive disorder in older adults. The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, aimed to investigate whether thyrotoxicosis contributes to a higher risk of cognitive disorders.

The cohort study included 65,931 patients aged 65 years and older who had made two or more visits to their primary care physicians at least 30 days apart. The researchers categorized the exposure variable as a low thyrotropin (TSH) level, which was characterized by the clinical context as either due to endogenous thyrotoxicosis, exogenous thyrotoxicosis, or an unknown cause.

The findings indicated that the incidence of cognitive disorder was 11.0 percent for patients exposed to thyrotoxicosis compared to 6.4 percent for those not exposed by the age of 75 years. After adjusting for various factors, the study found that all-cause thyrotoxicosis was associated with an increased risk of cognitive disorder diagnosis across all age groups (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.39). When stratified by cause and severity, exogenous thyrotoxicosis remained a significant risk factor (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.34), with dose response estimates indicating that a higher severity of thyrotoxicosis is linked to a greater risk of cognitive disorders.

The study highlights an increased risk of cognitive disorders as one of the potential negative consequences of thyroid hormone excess, which is a common outcome of thyroid hormone treatment. These findings are crucial in understanding the impact of thyrotoxicosis on cognitive health, particularly in older adults.

It is important to note that one author of the study disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry. This information should be considered when interpreting the results, as potential conflicts of interest may influence the study’s findings. However, the comprehensive nature of the study, with a large sample size and strict inclusion criteria, adds strength to the validity of the results.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the association between thyrotoxicosis and an increased risk of incident cognitive disorder in older adults. These findings emphasize the need for further research and clinical attention to the potential impact of thyroid hormone excess on cognitive health. Early identification and management of thyrotoxicosis may help mitigate the risk of cognitive disorders in this population.

Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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