Mental and physical state in subclinical hyperthyroidism: investigations in a normal working population

Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Jul 1;32(1):48-56. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(92)90141-l.


We investigated whether subclinically hyperthyroid individuals selected from a nonpatient working population exhibit similar impairments to those found in studies with patients. Sixteen subclinically hyperthyroid subjects without apparent reason (SH-0) and 15 subclinically hyperthyroid subjects on levothyroxine (SH-T4) were compared with 27 euthyroid controls with respect to signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, sleep, depressivity, ability to concentrate, anxiety, and other dimensions of well-being. We found that SH-T4 exhibited significantly higher TT4 levels, TT4/TBG ratios, and more palpitations than controls. Furthermore, they slept less. The SH-0 subjects reported being in a better mood and less touchy than controls. Psychometric results of all groups were within the normal range. A comparison of this study to previous studies reveals that TT4 levels or TT4/TBG ratios may play a crucial role in the development of the predominantly nervous symptoms in subclinical hyperthyroidism. Possible reasons for the discrepancies between results in hospital and nonhospital settings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / diagnosis
  • Hyperthyroidism / prevention & control*
  • Hyperthyroidism / psychology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Sick Role*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone


  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Thyrotropin