The Connection Between Thyroid Function and Heart Attacks

The thyroid gland is a small formation at the base of the throat that plays a tremendous role in the energetic metabolism of the cells. In case of a hypo-reactive thyroid there are some alarming signs from other parts of the body: high cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure and as consequences, high risks of heart and blood vessels diseases.
Many elderly women prove no major signs of thyroid dysfunction, but if a high pressure in the blood occurs, additional testing might diagnose a link.

A large scientific study was made in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on persons over 55 years of age. About 1000 women had already undergone menopause at the time of the study. The subjects were asked about their age, medical history, weight, height, and smoking status. Further testing was based on measuring the blood pressure, the blood cholesterol and the thyroid hormone level in the blood; every patient underwent an EKG examination and also the antibodies of the thyroid cells were leveled.

A clearly under-active thyroid would show evident signs such as dry skin and hair, lethargy, feeling cold. That is why all patients with no manifested symptoms but with a normal thyroxin level and a TSH over 4mUI were diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Questions about the medical history and an EKG exam helped doctors determine if the subjects had before suffered from a heart attack. A lower back radiography was done to establish possible signs of atherosclerosis if calcium deposits were present in the aorta.

All patients were dynamically observed and the families were asked about the morbidity or mortality connected to a miocardic infarct.

From about 1000 women aged 69 12% have been diagnosed with a subclinical hypothyroidism but the major percent of them had a normal thyroid activity. The women diagnosed with an under active gland showed a higher susceptibility to developing atherosclerosis or experience a MI.

But scientists also showed that subclnical hypothyroidism increased the risk of a micardic infarct in the same level smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol did.

In the investigated women group, 16 patients suffered a MI in the following 4-5 years. Studies showed susceptibility two and a half times higher in women with under active thyroid gland.

Final results of the study showed a direct connection between the subclinical hypothyroidism and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart attack and aorta atherosclerosis is as high in case of under-active thyroid gland as in case of the other risk factors like smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension.

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