80+ Thyroid Trial

IEMO 80+ Thyroid Trial

In this study the effect of treatment with thyroid hormone is studied in the elderly (80 years or older) with a slightly reduced thyroid function.


A slightly reduced thyroid function is a prevalent finding in older patients and has been associated with multiple signs and symptoms, ranging from fatigue and depression to cardiac arrhythmias. Some observational studies show that in elderly it causes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while in other studies it appeared to be associated with a decreased mortality in older people. It is therefore not clear whether the condition should be treated in elderly. Randomized Controlled Trials have been performed in the past, but were relatively small (350 participants in total in 11 RCTs), heterogeneous with respect to patient selection, and dit not include a significant amount of oldest old patients (80+ years).

The study

Since 2014, 105 participants of 80 years and older have been followed up to see what the effect of thyroid hormone supplementation is on cardiovascular disease, quality of life, mortality and other outcomes. These participants will be followed up until May 2018. As a result, a clear answer will be given in a few years to the question of whether elderly people with a slightly reduced thyroid function should be treated.


The study is conducted in the Netherlands by the Leiden University Medical Center and in Switzerland by the Universit├Ąt Bern. The IEMO coordinates the study. This project is made possible by ZonMw.