Graves' Disease and Toxic Nodular Goiter, Aggravated by Duration of Hyperthyroidism, Are Associated with Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia: A Registry-Based Long-Term Follow-Up of Two Large Cohorts

Lars Folkestad*, Frans Brandt, Mads Lillevang-Johansen, Thomas Heiberg Brix, Laszlo Hegedüs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Dementia is an increasing burden to the health care system. It is currently debated whether hyperthyroidism is associated with a risk of dementia. Our aim was to determine the risk of dementia in hyperthyroid individuals and whether this was associated with duration of hyperthyroidism. Methods: Risk of dementia in hyperthyroid individuals was evaluated in two cohorts and matched reference populations. The Danish National Patient Registry (DNPR) cohort is a registry-based Danish nationwide cohort followed for a median of 7.2 years (from 1995 to 2013), whereas the OPENTHYRO registry cohort comprises 235,547 individuals who had at least one serum thyrotropin (TSH) measurement in the period from 1995 to 2011 and was followed for a median of 7.3 years. Each hyperthyroid case was matched with four controls according to age and sex using density sampling. Hyperthyroidism was defined as either an International Classification of Diseases Version 10 (ICD-10) diagnosis of toxic nodular goiter (TNG) or Graves' disease (GD), or two measurements of a TSH below 0.3 mU/L in the DNPR and OPENTHYRO registry cohort, respectively. The primary outcome was all-cause dementia, defined as either an ICD-10 code of dementia or prescription of medicine for dementia, with subgroup analyses of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Results: The DNPR cohort had 56,128 patients with hyperthyroidism, 2689 of whom were registered with dementia. The reference population had 224,512 individuals, of whom 10,199 had dementia (hazard ratio 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-1.23). Risk of dementia, whether Alzheimer's or vascular, was higher in both GD and TNG. The OPENTHYRO registry cohort constituted 2688 hyperthyroid individuals and 10,752 euthyroid control individuals of whom 190 and 473 individuals, respectively, were subsequently diagnosed with dementia (HR 1.06; 95% CI: 0.89-1.26). For each 6 months of decreased TSH, the risk of all-cause dementia was significantly higher (HR 1.16; 95% CI: 1.12-1.22). Conclusions: Using large-scale registry-based data, we found increased risk of dementia in hyperthyroid individuals. Every 6 months of decreased TSH was associated with increased risk of dementia by 16%, compared with individuals with normal TSH. Our data support early diagnosis and intervention in patients with hyperthyroidism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThyroid
Volume30
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)672-680
ISSN1050-7256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7. May 2020

Keywords

  • dementia
  • epidemiology
  • Graves' disease
  • hyperthyroidism
  • toxic nodular goiter

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