Subclinical hypothyroidism, mood, and cognition in older adults: a review

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;28(2):111-8. doi: 10.1002/gps.3796. Epub 2012 Mar 13.


Objectives: To perform a critical review of the literature on the mood and cognitive changes associated with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH), with an emphasis on older adults. To evaluate these data against the Consensus Statement on the management of SCH from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Thyroid Association, and The Endocrine Society.

Method: A comprehensive literature review.

Results: Subclinical hypothyroidism may be associated with an increased risk of mood and cognitive dysfunction, although the strength of this association and the efficacy of replacement hormone therapy require further investigation.

Conclusion: It remains unclear whether SCH leads to significant mood and cognitive impairments in most older patients. More research is required to determine the nature and extent of this association and whether thyroid hormone replacement therapy is appropriate and effective in treating SCH-associated neurobehavioral impairments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Consensus
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy
  • Hypothyroidism / psychology*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology*
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use


  • Thyroxine