Triiodothyronine is Positively Associated with Heart Rate, Cardiac Function and Structure in Euthyroid Middle-aged Men and Women

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: SUN 414-431-HPT Axis Biology
Sunday, June 16, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board SUN-429
Greet Roef*1, Youri Taes1, Jean-Marc Kaufman1, Caroline Van daele2, Marc De Buyzere3, Thierry C Gillebert2 and Ernst R Rietzschel2
1Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium, 2Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 3Department of Cardiology, Ghent, Belgium

Triiodothyronine (T3) has many effects on the heart and marked changes in cardiac function and structure occur in patients with (subclinical) thyroid disease. We investigated whether between-subject variation in thyroid hormone levels within the euthyroid range is also associated with heart rate and echocardiographic heart function and structure.


2524 subjects from the Asklepios study, a population-representative random sample between 35 and 55 yrs, free from overt cardiovascular disease at baseline, were included. Analyses were restricted to 2078 subjects (1013 women and 1065 men), not using antihypertensive or thyroid medication nor having anti-TPO levels above clinical cut-off or TSH levels outside the reference range. All subjects were phenotyped in-depth and underwent comprehensive echocardiography, including diastolic evaluation. Thyroid function parameters were determined by automated electrochemiluminescence.


Heart rate was robustly positively associated with (quartiles of) (F)T3, both in subjects with TSH levels within reference (0.27-4.2 µU/l) as in narrow TSH-range (0.5-2.5 µU/l) (p<0.0001). (F)T3 was negatively associated with LV (left ventricular) end-diastolic volume but positively with relative wall thickness. TT3 was associated with enhanced ventricular contraction (as assessed by tissue Doppler imaging). FT4, FT3 and TT3 were positively associated with late ventricular filling, and TT3 was also associated with early ventricular filling.


We have demonstrated a strong positive association between thyroid hormone levels within the euthyroid range and heart rate, and more subtle effects on cardiac function and structure. More specifically, we suggest smaller LV cavity size (with increased relative wall thickness), an enhanced atrial and ventricular contraction and LV relaxation with higher circulating thyroid hormones. These results illustrate that variation of thyroid hormone levels even within the reference range exerts effects on the heart.

Nothing to Disclose: GR, YT, JMK, CV, MD, TCG, ERR

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at

Sources of Research Support: The Asklepios Study is supported by a Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek–Vlaanderen FWO research grant G.0427.03 and G.0838.10N (Asklepios Study) and for this study also by grant G0867.11