Researches from the Cardiovascular Research Institute have now found out that heart disease can be reduced by effective treatment of disorders affecting the thyroid gland. Aggressive treatment of hypothyroidism and borderline hypothyroidism is hoped to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases to a significant extent.
The study has however been conducted in rats, the results of which can be extrapolated to human beings as well. The observation serves as a ray of hope for the U.S. population where the incidence of thyroid is high, with more than 10 % of the population suffering from either hypothyroidism or borderline hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by insufficient production of thyroid hormones.
The effects of hypothyroidism were studied in rats on a short-term and long-term basis. From the research, it was found that hypothyroidism led to severe clinically significant changes in the architecture of the heart. This included progressive contractile dysfunction, chamber enlargement, and ventricular wall thinning.
Furthermore, it was also found to result in reduced blood flow to the heart (myocardial blood flow) due to a compromise in many tiny blood vessels that supply the heart. As a consequence of the above findings, the researcher's were able to identify two new mechanisms by which low thyroid function may lead to heart failure.
It was evident that the cause of heart failure was only hypothyroidism. The study hold lot of value as the relationship between hypothyroidism and heart failure had not been previously established. While human data are not yet available, the link between low thyroid function and increased heart disease suggests that something like this could also be occurring in humans as well.
Moreover, individuals with borderline hypothyroidism may also have similar cardiac changes. It is therefore very vital to identify such individuals. Clearly more research is needed to determine if these detrimental cardiac changes occur in humans and if treatment of heart patients with borderline hypothyroidism will lead to improved outcomes.
Appropriate caution has to be excised in the treatment of hypothyroidism as excessive treatment with thyroid hormones believed to cause certain undesirable effects