Subclinical thyroid dysfunction and frailty among older men

Vanessa S. Virgini, Nicolas Rodondi, Peggy M. Cawthon, Stephanie Litwack Harrison, Andrew R. Hoffman, Eric Orwoll, Kristine E. Ensrud, Douglas C. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Context: Both subclinical thyroid dysfunction and frailty are common among older individuals, but data on the relationship between these 2 conditions are conflicting. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the cross-sectional and prospective associations between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and frailty and the 5 frailty subdomains (sarcopenia, weakness, slowness, exhaustion, and low activity). Setting and Design: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study is a prospective cohort study. Participants: Men older than 65 years (n = 1455) were classified into 3 groups of thyroid status: subclinical hyperthyroidism (n = 26, 1.8%), subclinical hypothyroidism (n = 102, 7.0%), and euthyroidism (n = 1327, 91.2%). MainOutcomeMeasures: Frailty was defined using a slightly modified Cardiovascular Health Study Index: men with 3 or more criteria were considered frail, men with 1 to 2 criteria were considered intermediately frail, and men with no criteria were considered robust. We assessed the crosssectional relationship between baseline thyroid function and the 3 categories of frailty status (robust/intermediate/frail) as well as the prospective association between baseline thyroid function and subsequent frailty status and mortality after a 5-year follow-up. Results: At baseline, compared with euthyroid participants,menwith subclinical hyperthyroidism had an increased likelihood of greater frailty status (adjusted odds ratio, 2.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-5.34), particularly among men aged

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4524-4532
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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    Virgini, V. S., Rodondi, N., Cawthon, P. M., Harrison, S. L., Hoffman, A. R., Orwoll, E., Ensrud, K. E., & Bauer, D. C. (2015). Subclinical thyroid dysfunction and frailty among older men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 100(12), 4524-4532.