Thyroid hormone has important effect on bone turnover. In hyperthyroidism, or when taking high doses of levothyroxine, bone turnover is increased and can lead to bone loss. Some studies have shown an increased risk of osteoporosis after thyroidectomy, especially when patients are treated with high doses of levothyroxine as is done in patients with thyroid cancer. After discovering the connection between osteoporosis and low TSH levels in thyroid cancer patients, the practice of prescribing thyroid hormone after thyroid cancer surgery was changed. Nowadays, only patients with aggressive forms of thyroid cancer receive higher doses of levothyroxine to suppress TSH levels and most thyroid cancer patients are treated with a dose of levothyroxine that is sufficient to maintain a low normal or slightly low TSH level. This present study was done to investigate the risk of osteoporosis after thyroid surgery of any kind.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Hung CL et al 2018 Is partial or total thyroidectomy associated with risk of long-term osteoporosis: a nationwide population-based study. World J Surg 42:2864–2871. PMID: 29541822.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
The study was done in Taiwan. In Taiwan, universal health insurance is offered and extensive information regarding different medical problems in Taiwanese population is available. The authors of this study found 1426 patients who had partial or complete thyroid surgery from year 2000 to 2005. They compared these patients to 5704 other patients who had never had thyroid surgery or any other form of thyroid disease but had similar age, sex and medical problems other than thyroid.