Is Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy a Risk for Patients?

. It is a common disease in the United States, with millions of patients taking thyroid hormone replacement.

Treatment can be challenging, and patients can be overtreated or undertreated.

We found that those patients who were undertreated with thyroid hormone, even weeks or months before hospital admission, had worse hospital outcomes than those without hypothyroidism,” said the lead study author Matthew D. Ettleson, M.D., of the University of Chicago in Chicago, Ill.

To explore the risky side of thyroid hormone replacement therapy, researchers conducted a study that included 43,478 patients from a large, U.S.-based patient claims database.

Of these patients, 8,873 had hypothyroidism. The researchers divided patients into four groups based on their levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Low levels of TSH indicate a patient has been overtreated for their thyroid disease, while high levels of TSH correspond to undertreatment.

Patients with a high TSH level before hospitalization had a length of stay that was 1.2 days longer, a 49% higher risk of 30-day readmission, and a 43% higher rate of 90-day readmission compared with patients without hypothyroidism.

The results suggest that suboptimal treatment of hypothyroidism is associated with worse hospital outcomes. Both patients and physicians need to know that maintaining optimal thyroid hormone replacement is important to minimize the length of hospital stays and hospital readmission.

It is particularly important for planned admissions where thyroid hormone replacement can be adjusted if needed `before admission.

Source: Medindia

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