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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 144 No. 5152 (2014)

Subclinical hypothyroidism: summary of evidence in 2014

  • Christine Baumgartner
  • Manuel Raphael Blum
  • Nicolas Rodondi
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2014;144:w14058


Subclinical hypothyroidism, which is defined as elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels with free thyroxine concentrations within the reference range, is a common disorder that increases with age and affects up to 18% of the elderly, with a higher prevalence in women compared to men. Prospective data have shown an increased risk of coronary heart disease events, heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality among affected adults. Conflicting results have been found on the association between subclinical hypothyroidism and cognitive impairment, depression and the risk of fractures. Management strategies including screening and treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism are still controversial, while the ongoing European randomised controlled trial “TRUST” targets to solve these uncertainties. This narrative review aims to assess current evidence on the clinical aspects, as well as screening and treatment recommendations in adults with subclinical hypothyroidism.


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