Introduction: The relationship between abnormal thyroid function and coronary heart disease has been known for a long time, and particularly, hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ischemic risk by using the Duke score in women with ischemic heart disease and associated hypothyroidism before inclusion in cardiovascular rehabilitation program.
Materials and methods: We included in the study 150 female patients admitted to the Cardiology Department of the Clinical Rehabilitation Hospital Cluj-Napoca. All the patients included had ischemic heart disease and performed an exercise stress testing to evaluate the effort capacity and also to stratify the ischemic risk by calculating the Duke Score. After dosing the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) we divided the patients in two groups: with hypothyroidism and a control group.
Results: Patients with hypothyroidism were more frequently hypertensive, (98% vs 87%, p-0.035), and they had diabetes mellitus in a higher proportion (51% vs 22%, p-0.005). HDL cholesterol was significantly decreased in the group of patients with hypothyroidism: 40.36±10.39mg/dl vs 44.85±10.29mg/dl (p-0.01). Regarding the ischemic risk assessed by the Duke score, the statistically significant differences between the two groups were registered only for the category of high-risk patients, 5.55% vs 18% (p-0.048). Also, the TSH value was higher in the group with high-risk Duke score, 4.21±3.73µIU/ml, compared to the moderate-risk score group, 1.95±1.12µIU/ml(p-0.05).
Conclusion: In women with ischemic heart disease, assessing thyroid function can be useful to identify patients at high risk of ischemia. Patients with hypothyroidism tend to have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, a higher ischemic risk objectified by the Duke score and more commonly multivascular coronary lesions. For these patients, the inclusion in cardiovascular rehabilitation programs is essential, but it is very important that the programs to be customized for each patient.