Author(s): Chueire VB, Romaldini JH, Ward LS
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Abstract In order to determine if subclinical hypothyroidism is a risk factor for depression in the elderly, a total of 323 individuals over 60 years old were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) for mood disturbances. Patients were divided into Group I: 252 patients (184 females, 68 males; median age: 67 years, range: 60-89 years) with elevated serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels and Group II: 71 patients (45 females, 26 males; median age: 67 years, range: 60-92 years) with diagnosis of depression. Serum TSH and free thyroxine (fT4) were measured by sensitive assays. Thyroid antibodies were determined by IRMA. Depression was observed in 24 (9.5\%) Group I patients and was frequent in subclinical hypothyroidism patients (14/24 = 58.3\%). On the other hand, elevated TSH levels were found in 22 (30.9\%) Group II patients. Depression was observed more frequently among individuals with subclinical (74/149 = 49.7\%) hypothyroidism than among individuals with overt hypothyroidism (21/125 = 16.8\%) (p < 0.001). Indeed, subclinical hypothyroidism increased the risk for a patient to present depression more than four times (OR = 4.886; 95\% confidence interval = 2.768-8.627). Our results demonstrate that subclinical hypothyroidism increases the risk for depression and emphasize the importance of thyroid screening tests in the elderly.
This article was published in Arch Gerontol Geriatr
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety