Hormone therapy not beneficial in subclinical hypothyroidism

(HealthDay)—Thyroid hormone therapy is not associated with improvements in general quality of life or thyroid-related symptoms in non-pregnant adults with subclinical hypothyroidism, according to a review published in the Oct. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Martin Feller, M.D., from the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized clinical trials that compared thyroid hormone therapy to placebo or no therapy in non-pregnant adults with subclinical hypothyroidism. Their analysis included 21 studies with 2,192 adults.

The researchers found that after treatment (range, three to 18 months), thyroid hormone therapy was associated with a reduction in the mean thyrotropin value to the normal reference range versus placebo, but it was not associated with benefit regarding general quality of life or thyroid-related symptoms. Included studies had a low risk of bias and moderate- to high-quality evidence.

“These findings do not support the routine use of thyroid hormone therapy in adults with subclinical hypothyroidism,” the authors write.

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