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Adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement in a general population

Okosieme, Onyebuchi E., Belludi, G., Spittle, K., Kadiyala, R. and Richards, J. 2011. Adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement in a general population. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine 104 (5) , pp. 395-401. 10.1093/qjmed/hcq222

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BACKGROUND: Suboptimal thyroid hormone replacement may carry harmful health consequences. AIMS: Our objectives were to determine the prevalence and factors associated with inadequate replacement in patients receiving treatment with levothyroxine. DESIGN: Retrospective general practice audit. METHODS: We identified levothyroxine users through electronic searches of primary care records in all 11 practices within a county borough. The adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement was determined from the current serum, serum thyrotropin (TSH) as: (i) adequate replacement (normal TSH; 0.4-4.0 mU/l); (ii) over replacement (low TSH; <0.4 mU/l); and (iii) under replacement (high TSH; >4.0 mU/l). RESULTS: Out of a registered patient population of 58 567, we identified 1037 patients who were first included in the hypothyroidism disease register between January 2004 and December 2009 (mean age 62.4 ± 15.9 years; female 85.9%, male 14.1%). Inadequate replacement was seen in 385 patients (37.2%), comprising 205 patients (19.8%) with over replacement and 180 patients (17.4%) with under replacement. Step-wise logistic regression showed that the factors associated with under replacement were male gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.85, confidence interval (CI) 1.86-4.38; P < 0.001 and younger age (OR 0.88, CI 0.80-0.98; P = 0.02 per 10 year increase in age) while longer duration of treatment was associated with over-treatment (OR 1.06, CI 1.01-1.10). A thyroid function test was performed in the preceding 12 months in 914 patients (88.1%) and appropriate dose adjustments had been made in 81.0% (312/385) of patients with abnormal results. CONCLUSION: Despite frequent monitoring and dose adjustment activities, inadequate thyroid hormone replacement remained a problem in over a third of levothyroxine users in this population.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1460-2725
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:55

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