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Impact of Hypothyroidism and Heart Failure on Hospitalization Risk.



Prior studies suggest that the relationship between hypothyroidism and mortality is dependent on underlying cardiovascular risk. Little is known about the association of hypothyroidism with hospitalization risk, and how these associations are modified by cardiovascular status.


This study examined the association of thyroid status, defined by serum thyrotropin (TSH), with hospitalization risk among patients who received care at a large university-based tertiary care center between 1990 and 2015. Thyroid status was categorized as hypothyroidism versus euthyroidism (TSH >4.7 vs. 0.3-4.7 mIU/L, respectively). The relationship between thyroid status and hospitalization risk stratified by cardiovascular status was examined using multivariable Cox models.


Among 52,856 patients who met eligibility criteria, 49,791 (94.2%) had euthyroidism and 3065 (5.8%) had hypothyroidism. In analyses stratified by congestive heart failure (CHF) status, compared to euthyroidism, hypothyroidism was associated with higher risk of hospitalization in those with CHF but slightly lower risk in those without CHF (adjusted hazard ratio [aHRs] = 1.86 [confidence interval (CI) 1.17-2.94] and HR = 0.95 [CI 0.92-0.99], respectively; p = 0.006). In sensitivity analyses accounting for death as a competing event, underlying coronary artery disease modified the hypothyroidism-hospitalization relationship, such that stronger associations were observed among those with versus without coronary artery disease. In competing risk analyses, hypothyroidism was associated with higher versus lower risk of hospitalization among those with versus without cerebrovascular disease, respectively.


Hypothyroidism is associated with higher hospitalization risk among patients with underlying cardiovascular disease. Future studies are needed to determine whether correction of thyroid status with replacement therapy ameliorates hospitalization risk in this population.

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