Fewer Adverse Events for Elderly with High TSH, Low FT4

CMS Aims to Improve Nursing Home, Home Health Care
CMS Aims to Improve Nursing Home, Home Health Care
Higher TSH and lower FT4 thyroid hormone levels are associated with decreased risk for adverse effects in older adults.

Context: The appropriateness of current reference ranges for thyroid function testing in older adults has been questioned.

Objective: To determine the relationship between thyroid function tests within the euthyroid range and adverse outcomes in older adults not taking thyroid medication.

Conclusions: Higher TSH and lower FT4 concentrations within the euthyroid range are associated with lower risk of multiple adverse events in older people, including mortality. This suggests tolerance for lower thyroid hormone levels in this age group. Clinical trials are needed to evaluate the risk-benefit profile of new thresholds for initiating treatment and optimal target concentrations for thyroid hormone replacement in older people.

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