Thyroid status and mortality in nonagenarians from long-lived families and the general population

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  • Nicolien A. van Vliet
  • Evie van der Spoel
  • Marian Beekman
  • P. Eline Slagboom
  • Gerard Jan Blauw
  • Jacobijn Gussekloo
  • Westendorp, Rudi GJ
  • Diana van Heemst

The relationship between thyroid status and longevity has been investigated extensively. However, data on thyroid status and survival in old age is scarce. In this study we investigated associations of different parameters of thyroid status with mortality in nonagenarians, and whether these associations were different in nonagenarians from long-lived families than in nonagenarians from the general population. In total, 805 nonagenarians from the Leiden Longevity Study and 259 nonagenarians from the Leiden 85-plus Study were followed up to collect mortality data. At baseline, levels of thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4) and free triiodothyronine (fT3) were measured. In nonagenarians from long-lived families and from the general population, associations between thyroid parameters and mortality were similar. We found no interaction between study population and parameters of thyroid status on mortality (P-values>0.70). The results from both studies were combined to derive generalizable associations. Hazard ratios (HRs) for the highest compared to lowest tertiles were determined, resulting in TSH HR 0.91 (P=0.25), fT4 HR 1.22 (P=0.02), fT3 HR 0.74 (P=1.31e-4), and fT3/fT4 HR 0.66 (P=5.64e-7). In conclusion, higher fT3/fT4 ratios, higher levels of fT3, and lower levels of fT4 were associated with lower mortality rate in nonagenarians and independent of familial longevity status.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2223—2234
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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  • Journal Article

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