"If other studies confirm these findings, then physicians might want to consider treating mild thyroid problems to prevent potential cardiac problems or to avoid increasing the severity of an existing heart condition," Doug Bauer said.
Individuals with sub clinical hypothyroidism can advance into overt hypothyroidism, where free thyroxine levels fall below normal, which always requires thyroid hormone therapy.
The detection of sub clinical thyroid disorders is done by a blood test that evaluates the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
TSH levels greater than 4.5 mU/L and normal free thyroxine levels define sub clinical hypothyroidism.
The Cardiovascular Health Study involved over 3,000 adults in the age group of 65 years and above.
They were examined to determine if the individuals who had sub clinical hypothyroidism had an increased risk of developing heart failure over a twelve-year period.
The study showed that individuals who had a TSH level equal or greater than 10 mU/L had a two-fold risk of developing heart failure, compared to those who had normal thyroid levels.