(HealthDay News) — In the elderly, subclinical hypothyroidism is not associated with significantly increased risk for recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to research published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Daniel Segna, MD, of the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter cohort study using data for 561 elderly patients, 58% of whom were receiving anticoagulation therapy; 6% had subclinical hypothyroidism, and 5% had subclinical hyperthyroidism. The associations between subclinical thyroid disease and recurrent VTE, thrombophilic biomarkers, and all-cause mortality were investigated.

The researchers found that after an average of 20.8 months of follow-up, 9% of patients developed recurrent VTE, and 10% of patients died. The incidence rate of recurrent VTE per 100 patient-years was 7.2 (95%CI, 2.7-19.2) in subclinically hypothyroid patients, 0.0 (95% CI, 0.0-7.6) in subclinically hyperthyroid patients, and 5.9 (95% CI, 4.4-7.8) in euthyroid patients. 

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According to multivariate analyses, the sub-hazard ratio for recurrent VTE was 1.50 (95% CI, 0.52-4.34) in subclinically hypothyroid patients and 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00-0.58) in subclinically hyperthyroid patients, compared with euthyroid patients, without increased thrombophilic biomarkers. 

No association was found between subclinical thyroid disease and mortality.

“In elderly patients, subclinical hyperthyroidism may be associated with lower recurrent VTE risks,” the authors wrote. “Subclinical hypothyroidism showed a non-statistically significant pattern of an association with recurrent VTE, without increased mortality or differences in thrombophilic biomarkers.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biomedical companies.


  1. Segna D, Méan M, Limacher A, et al. Association between thyroid dysfunction and venous thromboembolism in the elderly: a prospective cohort study. J Thromb Haemost. 2016. doi:10.1111/jth.13276.