A new study shows that older people with hypothyroidism, also known as hypothyroidism, may be more likely to develop dementia.
According to the study, the risk of developing dementia was higher in people whose thyroid condition required thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This can slow down your metabolism. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold.
“In some cases, thyroid disease has been associated with symptoms of dementia that could be reversed with treatment,” said study author Chen Xiang Wing, MD, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. While more research is needed to confirm these results, people should be aware of thyroid problems as a potential risk factor for dementia and about treatments that can prevent or slow permanent cognitive decline.”
The researchers examined the medical records of 7,843 people who were first diagnosed with dementia in Taiwan and compared them with the same number of people who did not have dementia. Their average age was 75 years.
The researchers analyzed the data to find out who had a history of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
An overactive thyroid, also called hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone.
It can increase metabolism. Symptoms include unintentional weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, nervousness or restlessness.
A total of 102 people had hypothyroidism, 133 had hyperthyroidism.
The researchers found no link between hyperthyroidism and dementia.
Of those with dementia, 68, or 0.9%, had hypothyroidism, compared with 34 without dementia, or 0.4%.
When the researchers adjusted for other factors that can influence dementia risk, such as gender, age, high blood pressure, and diabetes, they found that people over 65 and people with hypothyroidism were 80% more likely to develop dementia than people. at an older age. same age group Age without thyroid problems.
For those younger than 65 years, a history of hypothyroidism was not associated with an increased risk of dementia.
When the researchers looked only at people who were on medication for hypothyroidism, they found that they were three times more likely to develop dementia than those who weren’t on medication.
“One explanation for this could be that these people have more severe symptoms of hypothyroidism when treatment is needed,” Wing explained.
Wing noted that the observational study does not prove that hypothyroidism is the cause of dementia, only a link.
One limitation of the study was that the investigators could not include information on the severity of hypothyroidism for the participants.
The results of the full study were published in the journal Neurology.