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Serum Thyroid Function, Mortality and Disability in Advanced Old Age: The Newcastle 85+Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simon Pearce, Dr Salman Razvi, Mohammad Yadegarfar, Dr Carmen Martin-Ruiz, Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Joanna Collerton, Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood, Professor Carol Jagger

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

Context: Perturbations in thyroid function are common in older individuals but their significance in the very old is not fully understood.Objective: This study sought to determine whether thyroid hormone status and variation of thyroid hormones within the reference range correlated with mortality and disability in a cohort of 85-year-olds.Design: A cohort of 85-year-old individuals were assessed in their own homes (community or institutional care) for health status and thyroid function, and followed for mortality and disability for up to 9 years.Setting and Participants: Six hundred and forty-three 85-year-olds registered with participating general practices in Newcastle and North Tyneside, United Kingdom.Main Outcomes: All-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and disability according to thyroid disease status and baseline thyroid hormone parameters (serum TSH, FT4, FT3, and rT(3)). Models were adjusted for age, sex, education, body mass index, smoking, and disease count.Results: After adjustment for age and sex, all-cause mortality was associated with baseline serum rT(3) and FT3 (both P < .001), but not FT, or TSH. After additional adjustment for potential confounders, only rT(3) remained significantly associated with mortality (P =.001). Baseline serum TSH and rT(3) predicted future disability trajectories in men and women, respectively.Conclusions: Our study is reassuring that individuals age 85 y with both subclinical hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism do not have a significantly worse survival over 9 years than their euthyroid peers. However, thyroid function tests did predict disability, with higher serum TSH levels predicting better outcomes. These data strengthen the argument for routine use of age-specific thyroid function reference ranges.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Pearce SHS, Razvi S, Yadegarfar ME, Martin-Ruiz C, Kingston A, Collerton J, Visser TJ, Kirkwood TB, Jagger C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Year: 2016

Volume: 101

Issue: 11

Pages: 4385-4394

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 23/08/2016

Acceptance date: 17/08/2016

ISSN (print): 0021-972X

ISSN (electronic): 1945-7197

Publisher: Endocrine Society

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-1935

DOI: 10.1210/jc.2016-1935


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