Hyperlipidaemia and hypothyroidism Screen patients for hypothyroidism before treatment

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6933.918 (Published 02 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:918
  1. A O Olukoga,
  2. V E F Crowley,
  3. A Lawal,
  4. C Weinkove
  1. Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Hope Hospital, Salford M6 8HD

    EDITOR, - M A Al-Jubouri and colleagues report a case of subclinical myopathy in association with hypothyroidism and simvastatin treatment.1 In line with existing guidelines,2 the authors highlighted the importance of excluding secondary causes of hypercholesterolaemia before starting hypolipidaemic treatment. Hypothyroidism is a well recognised cause of secondary hyperlipidaemia, and in our lipid clinic every new patient's thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroxine concentrations are screened irrespective of the presenting lipid pattern. We recently audited this practice and present our findings on the incidence of previously unrecognised hypothyroidism at presentation and the effect of thyroxine treatment on patients with hypothyroidism.

    Of 1190 new referrals (623 men, 567 women), 11 were found to have biochemical hypothyroidism (thyroid stimulating hormone concentration >6 mU/l; thyroxine concentration <50 nmol/l) and 13 to have compensated biochemical hypothyroidism (thyroid stimulating hormone >6 mU/ l; thyroxine 50-150 nmol/l), giving incidences …

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