Thyroid disease continues to affect millions of Americans of all ages each year, but now new research is providing more insight in managing the disease in elderly care.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), it may not be necessary to increase a senior's thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) if they only have a mildly elevated case. The researchers suggest that upping a dosage may not be beneficial as these levels do not increase a risk of mortality.
Researchers looked at a group of seniors with an average age of 85 and found that the increased TSH may actually be protective rather than leading to a higher mortality risk.
"Our research presents the first data demonstrating longitudinal changes in thyroid function in a cohort of the oldest old," said Dr. Anne R. Cappola, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that treating mild elevations in TSH in the elderly is unnecessary. Further studies are needed to determine the threshold levels of thyroid function that would benefit from intervention."
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