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Hypothyroidism and the risk of lower extremity arterial disease

Authors Mazzeffi M, Lin H, Flynn BC, O’Connell TL, DeLaet DE

Published 20 October 2010 Volume 2010:6 Pages 957—962

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S13535

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Michael A Mazzeffi1, Hung-Mo Lin1, Brigid C Flynn1, Thomas L O’Connell2, David E DeLaet3

1Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; 2Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC , USA; 3Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Background: Although an independent association between hypothyroidism and coronary artery disease has been demonstrated, few studies have examined the association between hypothyroidism and peripheral arterial disease. In the current study, we test the hypothesis that there is an independent association between hypothyroidism and lower extremity arterial disease.
Methods: We retrospectively compared the prevalence of hypothyroidism in patients who had infra-inguinal arterial bypass surgery over a 6-year period with that of a control group of surgical patients who had pure cardiac valve surgery during the same time period. Both unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios were calculated to estimate the association between hypothyroidism and lower extremity arterial disease.
Results: A total of 614 cases and 529 control subjects had surgery during the study period. When comparing all subjects, there was no association between hypothyroidism and lower extremity arterial disease (unadjusted odds ratio 0.88; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.61–1.28). However, gender was found to be a significant effect modifier (P < 0.001), and gender-stratified analyses were subsequently performed. In men, there was a positive independent association between hypothyroidism and lower extremity arterial disease (adjusted odds ratio 2.65; 95% CI: 1.19–5.89), whereas in women there was a negative independent association (adjusted odds ratio 0.22; 95% CI: 0.11–0.46).
Conclusions: Gender is a significant effect modifier for the association between hypothyroidism and lower extremity arterial disease. The association is positive in men and negative in women. Future prospective studies that evaluate hypothyroidism as a risk factor for peripheral arterial disease should consider gender stratification in order to corroborate this finding.
Keywords: hypothyroidism, cardiovascular, peripheral arterial disease, vascular bypass, gender

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