Serum free thyroxine levels are positively associated with arterial stiffness in the SardiNIA study

Alessandro P. Delitala, Marco Orrù, Fabiana Filigheddu, Maria Grazia Pilia, Giuseppe Delitala, Antonello Ganau, Pier Sergio Saba, Federica Decandia, Angelo Scuteri, Michele Marongiu, Edward G. Lakatta, James Strait, Francesco Cucca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Thyroid dysfunction may accelerate atherosclerosis. Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) is an early index of arterial stiffness and an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and might therefore be linked to changes in thyroid activity. We investigated the relationship between thyroid function and carotid-femoral PWV, as an index of arterial stiffness. Design Cross-sectional cohort study. Patients Participants from the SardiNIA study. Those being treated for thyroid diseases were excluded, yielding a sample of 5875 aged 14-102. Measurements Clinical parameters, blood tests including serum TSH and serum FT4, and carotid-femoral PWV were measured. Results After adjusting for confounders, a direct and linear association between FT4 and PWV was shown (multiple regression analysis). The model containing age, mean blood pressure, body mass index, heart rate, FT4, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia accounted for 55% of the variation in PWV. Conclusions Like several other known risk factors, serum FT4 levels are associated with carotid-femoral PWV, suggesting that high FT4 levels have a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and may contribute to ageing process of the vascular system. This finding may help to understand the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and contribute to improve prevention therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-597
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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