According to a recent observational study, older people with underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) might have an increased risk of developing dementia. This risk is even higher for people who use thyroid hormone replacement medication.
In their study researchers analyzed the health records concerning either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) of 7.843 people with dementia and compared them to the same number of people with no dementia.
Researchers found that people over age 65 with hypothyroidism were 81% more likely to develop dementia than people of the same age without thyroid problems. Moreover, people who took medication turned to have 3 times more chance to develop dementia than those who didn’t take medication.
For people younger than 65, having a history of hypothyroidism was not linked to an increased risk of dementia.
There was also no link between hyperthyroidism and dementia.
It is worth mentioning that researchers were not able to anylize the severity of hypothyroidism of the participants.
More studies are needed to confirm these findings. Meanwhile it is good to be aware of thyroid problems as a possible risk factor for dementia.
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