MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joe-Elie Salem, MD, PhD
Associate Professor – MCU-PH, Sorbonne Université – INSERM – CIC, Clinical Pharmacology, Cardio-oncology, APHP, La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France
Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cardio-oncology
Clinical Pharmacology, Nashville, TN
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has strengthened the link between thyroid function and atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and other heart-related complications.
They phenome-wide association study scanned the medical records of more than 37,000 people for an association between genetically determined variation in thyroid stimulating hormone levels (a measure of thyroid function) and AF risk.
Previous observational studies have found that subclinical hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid which does not meet the clinical threshold for diagnosis or treatment, nevertheless can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation. But whether to treat subclinical hypo- or hyperthyroidism to reduce AF risk remains a matter of debate in the medical community.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The current study, published today in the journal JAMA Cardiology, found that genetically determined variation in thyroid function, even among individuals whose levels fall within a physiologically accepted “normal” range, still can increase the risk for atrial fibrillation.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The decision to treat subclinical thyroid disease should account atrial fibrillation risk (while) thyroid hormone replacement for hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) may increase AF risk,” the researchers concluded.
Salem J, Shoemaker MB, Bastarache L, et al. Association of Thyroid Function Genetic Predictors With Atrial Fibrillation: A Phenome-Wide Association Study and Inverse-Variance Weighted Average Meta-analysis. JAMA Cardiol. Published online January 23, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2018.4615
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