Clinical Thyroidology for the Public summarizes selected research studies discussed in the previous month’s issue of Clinical Thyroidology, an official publication of the American Thyroid Association. Editor-in-chief, Alan Farwell, MD, FACE

Volume 12 Issue 4

April is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Awareness Month

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Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 12 Issue 4 (PDF file, 5.94 MB)


Editor’s Comments

HYPOTHYROIDISM Is levothyroxine therapy overused?
Sometimes patients have been prescribed levothyroxine for a long time, but it is not clear why it was started or if they still need to be taking it. The main goal of this study was to determine how often such patients had normal thyroid hormone levels off levothyroxine treatment, suggesting that levothyroxine treatment was no longer needed.
Livadas S et al 2018 Levothyroxine replacement therapy and overuse: a timely diagnostic approach. Thyroid. Epub 2018 Oct 23. PMID: 30351232.
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THYROID DISORDERS Thyroid disorders and impairment in sex life
Thyroid disorders have been linked to a reduced quality of life in some clinical studies. Even fewer studies have looked at the effect of thyroid disorders on sexual function. This study examined how common impaired sex life was noted in a survey of patients with thyroid disorders.
Sawicka-Gutaj N et al 2018 Patients with benign thyroid diseases experience an impaired sex life. Thyroid. Epub; Jul 24
(PDF File for saving and printing, 467 KB)

HYPERTHYROIDISM Quality of life is worse at 6-10 years after radioactive iodine therapy of Graves’ disease compared with treatment with antithyroid drugs or surgery.
Studies have shown that having Graves’ disease may have negative impact on patient’s quality of life. Graves’ disease is usually treated with antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery. This study assessed long-term quality of life in patients with Graves’ disease who have been treated in a routine clinical setting.
Törring O et al 2019. Impaired quality of life after radioiodine therapy compared with antithyroid drugs or surgical treatment for Graves’ hyperthyroidism: a long-term follow-up with the Thyroid-Related Patient-Reported Outcome Questionnaire and 36-Item Short Form Health Status Survey. Thyroid 29:322–331. PMID: 30667296.
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HYPOTHYROIDISM Neonatal hypothyroidism and low family income are associated with an increased risk of intellectual disability
Failure to treat congenital and neonatal hypothyroidism within the 1st 3 months of life can cause permanent brain damage, causing intellectual disability. Children living in low-income households are more likely to have intellectual disability due to a variety of factors. The goal of this study is to evaluate the link between neonatal hypothyroidism, family income, and intellectual disability.
Nam JY et al (2018) The effect of neonatal hypothyroidism and low family income on intellectual disability: a population-based cohort study. PLoS One 13(11):e0205955. PMID: 30403688.
(PDF File for saving and printing, 557 KB)

THYROID AND PREGNANCY Thyroid hormone therapy and infertility
Women with hypothyroidism have an increased risk of infertility and are more likely to require assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, to achieve pregnancy. This study examined all of the studies to date to clarify the effect of levothyroxine on birth rates in women with subclinical hypothyroidism and/or positive TPO antibodies using ART to achieve pregnancy.
Rao M eut al. Effect of levothyroxine supplementation on pregnancy outcomes in women with subclinical hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection: an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Reprod. Biol. Endocrinol. 2018. 16:92. PMID: 30249251.
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THYROID CANCER An increased but small absolute risk of leukemia can be attributed to radioactive iodine therapy for thyroid cancer
When needed, radioactive iodine therapy is a well-tolerated and effective treatment for most types of thyroid cancer. While the highest amount of radioactive iodine is delivered to the thyroid cells, many other cells are exposed to low levels of ionizing radiation for a brief period of time. This study was performed to gather more information on how much risk radioactive iodine has for the development of cancer after the thyroid cancer.
Yu CY et al 2018 A systematic review and meta-analysis of subsequent malignant neoplasm risk after radioactive iodine treatment of thyroid cancer. Thyroid. Epub 2018 Nov 27. PMID 30370820.
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