Thyroid Function Variations Within the Reference Range Do Not Affect Quality of Life, Mood, or Cognitive Function in Community-Dwelling Older Men

Mary Samuels, Rajani Kaimal, Avantika Waring, Howard A. Fink, Kristine Yaffe, Andrew R. Hoffman, Eric Orwoll, Douglas Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Variations in thyroid function within the laboratory reference range have been associated with a number of clinical outcomes. However, quality of life, mood, and cognitive function have not been extensively studied, and it is not clear whether mild variations in thyroid function have major effects on these neurocognitive outcomes. Methods: Data were analyzed from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study, a cohort of community-dwelling men aged 65 years and older in the United States. A total of 539 participants who were not taking thyroid medications and had age-adjusted TSH levels within the reference range underwent detailed testing of quality of life, mood, and cognitive function at baseline. The same quality of life, mood, and cognitive outcomes were measured again in 193 of the men after a mean follow-up of 6 years. Outcomes were analyzed using thyrotropin (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels as continuous independent variables, adjusting for relevant covariates. Results: At baseline, there were no associations between TSH or FT4 levels and measures of quality of life, mood, or cognition in the 539 euthyroid men. Baseline thyroid function did not predict changes in these outcomes over a mean of 6 years in the 193 men in the longitudinal analysis. Conclusions: Variations in thyroid function within the age-adjusted laboratory reference range are not associated with variations in quality of life, mood, or cognitive function in community-dwelling older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1194
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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