Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system produces an antibody that attacks the thyroid and turns it on. Treatment options for Graves’ disease include antithyroid medications (methimazole, PTU), radioactive iodine therapy and surgery. Some studies suggest that patients with Graves’ disease have an increased risk of death, mainly due to cardiac disease. While all 3 of these options are routinely recommended, it is unclear if any of them affect the risk from of heart disease or improve survival in patients with Graves’ disease.
The goal of the study was to look at the effect of treatment of Graves’ disease on heart disease and to understand whether the choice of therapy affects the survival in a large group of patients.
FULL JOURNAL TITLE
Okosieme OE et al 2019 Primary therapy of Graves’ disease and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality: a linked-record cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 7:278–287. PMID: 30827829.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
A total of 4189 patients diagnosed with Graves’ disease between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2013, were identified from a registry in South Wales, United Kingdom, and were included in this study. The treatment groups were: (i) antithyroid drug, (ii) radioactive iodine with resolved hyperthyroidism (RAI group A), and (iii) radioactive iodine with unresolved hyperthyroidism (RAI group B).