Hypothyroidism as a cause of hypertension.
To study whether there is an association between hypertension and hypothyroidism, measurements of blood pressure and thyroid function were determined in 477 female patients with chronic thyroiditis. Based on the blood levels of thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), 308 patients were considered euthyroid and 169 were hypothyroid [T4 = 2.9 +/- 0.1 micrograms/dl and TSH = 105.8 +/- 6.8 microU/ml (mean +/- SEM)]. Diastolic, but not systolic, blood pressure in hypothyroid patients over 50 years was higher than in euthyroid patients of corresponding age groups. The prevalence of hypertension was higher in hypothyroid patients when hypertension was defined as the systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure above 160/95 mm Hg (14.8% vs 5.5%; p less than 0.01). Correlations between diastolic, but not systolic, blood pressure and either the blood level of triiodothyronine (T3) or T4 was significant (r = - 0.174, p less than 0.01, and r = 0.208, p less than 0.01, respectively) when data from both euthyroid and hypothyroid patients were combined. Adequate thyroid hormone replacement therapy for an average 14.8 months in 14 patients resulted in a normalization of thyroid function and a reduction of blood pressure (p less than 0.01). In four who showed no change in thyroid function due to inadequate replacement therapy, blood pressure remained elevated. These results suggest a close association between hypertension and hypothyroidism.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association