Impaired breathing, sleeping, vitality, and depression, and negative impact of L-T4 treatment characterize health-related quality of life in older people with stable CVD

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2020 Oct;32(10):2041-2047. doi: 10.1007/s40520-020-01537-9. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and thyroid dysfunction are common in older people, but little is known about how they affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Methods: We assessed HRQoL with the 15D instrument in 329 home-dwelling patients aged ≥ 75 years with stable CVD and compared the results to those of an age- and gender-matched general population (n = 103). We also studied the impact of age, BMI, number of medications, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentration, levothyroxine (L-T4) substitution and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) on HRQoL.

Results: Overall HRQoL was impaired in older people with stable CVD (mean 15D score 0.777 vs 0.801, p = 0.001), and also on single dimensions of breathing, sleeping, discomfort and symptoms, distress, vitality (all p < 0.001), and depression (p = 0.016) compared to the age- and gender-matched general population. Furthermore, in the patients, L-T4 substitution associated with impaired sleeping (p = 0.018) and sexual activity (p = 0.030). Moreover, MMSE points, number of medications used, age (all p < 0.001) and BMI (p = 0.009) predicted impaired HRQoL.

Conclusions: Older people with stable CVD are characterized by impaired HRQoL compared to age- and gender-matched controls. We demonstrate that this is the consequence of impaired breathing, sleeping, discomfort and symptoms, distress, vitality, and depression. L-T4 substitution has a negative impact on HRQoL in old patients with stable CVD. MMSE score, number of medications, age and BMI predict worse HRQoL.

Keywords: CVD; HRQoL; L-T4; Older people; TSH.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thyroxine*


  • Thyroxine