The development of ischemic heart disease in relation to autoimmune thyroid disease in a 20-year follow-up study of an English community

Thyroid. 1996 Jun;6(3):155-60. doi: 10.1089/thy.1996.6.155.


The original Whickham Survey documented risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the prevalence of thyroid disorders in a sample of 2779 adults that closely matched the British population. A 20-year follow-up study has determined outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality from ischemic heart disease in over 97% of the original survey population. Analysis of deaths from all causes and from ischemic heart disease showed no association with antithyroid antibody status identified at first survey. A multiple logistic regression using the development of ischemic heart disease in the total population at follow-up as the dependent variable found that the significant predictor variables for men were age, cholesterol, mean arterial blood pressure, smoking history, and skinfold thickness index. For women only age, cholesterol, and mean arterial blood pressure were significant. The presence of autoimmune thyroid disease, as defined by either hypothyroidism, positive antithyroid antibodies, or raised serum thyrotropin at first survey, was not significant. A retrospective cohort study of a subsample of women identified at first survey with positive antithyroid antibodies or raised serum thyrotropin and closely matched controls found no significant association with mortality or development of ischemic heart disease. There is no evidence from this study to suggest that evidence of autoimmune thyroid disease identified 20 years ago is associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Smoking
  • Thyroid Diseases / immunology*


  • Cholesterol