Hypothyroidism is among the most frequent chronic diseases in the elderly, and levothyroxine (l-T4) is worldwide within the 10 drugs more prescribed in the general population. Hypothyroidism is defined by increased serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) values and reduced circulating free thyroid hormones, whereas subclinical hypothyroidism (sHT) is characterized by free hormone fractions within the normal ranges and has been divided into two classes, depending on circulating TSH levels (above or below 10 mIU/L). Given that during aging, a natural trend toward higher values of circulating TSH has been reported, it is necessary to verify carefully the diagnosis of sHT to tailor an appropriate follow-up and ad hoc therapy, avoiding unnecessary or excessive treatment. In the current review, we evaluate the state of the art on hypothyroidism in the elderly with special focus on the effect of sHT on cognition and the cardiovascular system function. We also summarize the recommendations for a correct diagnostic workup and therapeutic approach to older people with an elevated TSH value, with special attention to the presence of frailty, comorbidities, and poly therapy. In conclusion, personalized therapy is crucial in good clinical practice, and in the management of older patients with sHT, multiple factors must be considered, including age-dependent TSH cutoffs, thyroid autoimmunity, the burden of comorbidities, and the possible presence of frailty. l-T4 is the drug of choice for the treatment of hypothyroid older people, but the risk of overtreatment, potential adverse drug reactions, and patient compliance should always be considered and thyroid status periodically reassessed.

Hypothyroidism in the Elderly: Who Should Be Treated and How?

Calsolaro, Valeria
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Niccolai, Filippo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Pasqualetti, Giuseppe;Tognini, Sara;Magno, Silvia;Riccioni, Tommaso;Bottari, Marina;Caraccio, Nadia;Monzani, Fabio
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2018-01-01

Abstract

Hypothyroidism is among the most frequent chronic diseases in the elderly, and levothyroxine (l-T4) is worldwide within the 10 drugs more prescribed in the general population. Hypothyroidism is defined by increased serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) values and reduced circulating free thyroid hormones, whereas subclinical hypothyroidism (sHT) is characterized by free hormone fractions within the normal ranges and has been divided into two classes, depending on circulating TSH levels (above or below 10 mIU/L). Given that during aging, a natural trend toward higher values of circulating TSH has been reported, it is necessary to verify carefully the diagnosis of sHT to tailor an appropriate follow-up and ad hoc therapy, avoiding unnecessary or excessive treatment. In the current review, we evaluate the state of the art on hypothyroidism in the elderly with special focus on the effect of sHT on cognition and the cardiovascular system function. We also summarize the recommendations for a correct diagnostic workup and therapeutic approach to older people with an elevated TSH value, with special attention to the presence of frailty, comorbidities, and poly therapy. In conclusion, personalized therapy is crucial in good clinical practice, and in the management of older patients with sHT, multiple factors must be considered, including age-dependent TSH cutoffs, thyroid autoimmunity, the burden of comorbidities, and the possible presence of frailty. l-T4 is the drug of choice for the treatment of hypothyroid older people, but the risk of overtreatment, potential adverse drug reactions, and patient compliance should always be considered and thyroid status periodically reassessed.
2018
Calsolaro, Valeria; Niccolai, Filippo; Pasqualetti, Giuseppe; Tognini, Sara; Magno, Silvia; Riccioni, Tommaso; Bottari, Marina; Caraccio, Nadia; Monzani, Fabio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/950123
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