High Thyroid Hormone Levels and Stiffer Arteries

Middle-aged and older folks with elevated levels of a thyroid hormone may face a higher risk of developing hardened blood vessels, a new Dutch study suggests.

Hardened blood vessels (atherosclerosis) develop when plaque builds up on blood vessel walls. This condition is a risk factor for heart disease.

“Coronary heart disease and stroke remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide, despite advances in prevention and treatment,” study author Dr. Arjola Bano said in a news release from The Endocrine Society.

Therefore, identifying additional modifiable risk factors for hardened blood vessels is important, he said.

“These findings suggest that thyroid hormone measurement can help identify individuals at risk for atherosclerosis, and may have future implications for the prevention of atherosclerotic morbidity and mortality,” Bano said. He’s a doctoral candidate at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

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