International Thyroid Congress Highlights Latest Research on Altered Thyroid Function and Impact of Dietary Habits on Thyroid Function

October 19, 2015 — The effect of altered thyroid function on cardiac disease, depression and how dietary restrictions impact on the thyroid are all topics featured in oral presentations delivered at the 15th International Thyroid Congress, hosted by the American Thyroid Association, October 18-23, 2015, in Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida.

Previous evidence clearly supports a link between altered thyroid function and cardiovascular disease. A new study demonstrating that higher levels of thyroxine-stimulating hormone (free T4) — still within the normal range and in individuals with normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels — are associated with increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Layal Chaker, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, presents the data to support this finding in the poster “Thyroid Function and Sudden Cardiac Death: A Population-Based Cohort Study.”

Subclinical hypothyroidism in elderly individuals can improve symptoms of depression, according to the findings of Letician Teixeira, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, detailed in the poster, ‘Longitudinal Evaluation of a Geriatric Population — Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Subclinical Hypothyroidism Defined by Age-Adjusted Criteria for Serum TSH.” Furthermore, higher free T4 levels, associated with greater thyroid activity, had a negative impact on various outcomes related to depressive symptoms in this older population.

Olga Yeliosof, Goreyb Children’s Hospital, Morristown, NJ, presents “Endemic Goiter in a Vegan Toddler in the US,” in which she describes a 23-month-old boy diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency. The child had been breastfed until 16 months of age and was then fed a homemade vegan diet containing no cow’s milk or iodinated salt, and he took no vitamins. Administration of thyroxine-stimulating hormone and iodized salt to the child’s diet restored normal thyroid function.


The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international membership medical society with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 92nd anniversary, the ATA delivers its mission — of being devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health — through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded professional journals, Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology, and VideoEndocrinology; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. The ATA promotes thyroid awareness and information through its online Clinical Thyroidology for the Public (distributed free of charge to over 11,000 patients and public subscribers) and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA website serves as the clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet. Every fifth year, the American Thyroid Association joins with the Latin American Thyroid Society, the European Thyroid Association, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association to co-sponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC). This year the ITC is hosted by the American Thyroid Association at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. More information about the 15th ITC can be found at