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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Thyroid dysfunction and electrocardiographic changes in subjects without arrhythmias: a cross-sectional study of primary healthcare subjects from Copenhagen

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study was to investigate associations of both overt and subclinical thyroid dysfunction with common ECG parameters in a large primary healthcare population.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The study population comprised of primary healthcare patients in Copenhagen, Denmark, who had a thyroid function test and an ECG recorded within 7 days of each other between 2001 and 2011.

DATA SOURCES: The Danish National Patient Registry was used to collect information regarding baseline characteristics and important comorbidities.

OUTCOME MEASURE AND STUDY GROUPS: Common ECG parameters were determined using Marquette 12SL software and were compared between the study groups. The study population was divided into five groups based on their thyroid status. Euthyroid subjects served as the reference group in all analyses.

RESULTS: A total of 132 707 patients (age 52±17 years; 50% female) were included. Hyperthyroidism was significantly associated with higher heart rate and prolonged QTc interval with significant interaction with age (p<0.009) and sex (p<0.001). These associations were less pronounced for patients with higher age. Subclinical hyperthyroidism was associated with higher heart rate among females, and a similar trend was observed among males. Hypothyroidism was associated with slower heart rate and shorter QTc but only in women. Moreover, longer P-wave duration, longer PR interval and low voltage were observed in patients with both subclinical and overt hypothyroidism. However, the presence of low voltage was less pronounced with higher age (p=0.001).

CONCLUSION: Both overt and subclinical thyroid disorders were associated with significant changes in important ECG parameters. Age and gender have significant impact on the association of thyroid dysfunction particularly on heart rate and QTc interval.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e023854
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • electrocardiogram, marquette 12sl, thyroid dysfunction

ID: 57527681