Aging-related Characteristics of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Detected in General Practice

Masao Takami, Koichiro Yamamoto, Yoshihisa Hanayama, Yasuhiro Nakano, Kou Hasegawa, Mikako Obika, Hideharu Hagiya, Masanori Furukawa, Fumio Otsukaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is diagnosed when serum thyrotropin (TSH) is elevated despite a normal thyroxine level and is known to increase the risk of metabolic disorders. This study was conducted to identify potential laboratory markers suspicious for latent SCH. We retrospectively reviewed 958 outpatients in whom thyroid functions had been examined. Eighty-five (9.1%) of the 939 analyzed subjects had SCH (73% females). In the SCH group, median serum TSH and FT4 levels were 5.04 μU/ml and 1.19 ng/dl, respectively, and auto-thyroid antibodies were detected in 53.8% of patients. SCH group patients were significantly older than patients in the euthyroid group, while there was no intergroup difference in BMI. However, 56.5% of the SCH patients were asymptomatic. In the SCH group, serum aspartate aminotransferase and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were significantly higher, and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was significantly lower than in the euthyroid group. Among patients less than 65 years of age, SCH patients tended to have lower eGFR and higher LDL-C than euthyroid patients. Age-dependent reductions of red blood cells and serum albumin were more prominent in the SCH than the euthyroid group. Biochemical changes with aging are useful as potential clues for suspecting latent SCH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Aging
  • Cholesterol
  • Renal function
  • Subclinical hypothyroidism
  • Thyroid function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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