Thyroid hormones modulate every component of the cardiovascular system necessary for normal cardiovascular development and function. When cardiovascular disease is present, thyroid function tests are characteristically indicated to determine if overt thyroid disorders or even subclinical dysfunction exists. As hypothyroidism, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease all increase with advancing age, monitoring of thyroid-stimulating hormone, the most sensitive test for hypothyroidism, is important in this expanding segment of our population. A better understanding of the impact of thyroid hormonal status on cardiovascular physiology will enable health care providers to make decisions about thyroid hormone evaluation and therapy in concert with evaluating and treating hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The goal of this review is to access contemporary understanding of the effects of thyroid hormones on normal cardiovascular function and the potential role of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Cardiac output; Coronary artery disease; Heart failure; Peripheral vascular function; Thyroid dysfunction.
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