Endocrine Abstracts (2005) 9 P157

The Birmingham Elderly Thyroid Study (BETS): TSH and fT4 values in 5784 community-living subjects aged 60 and over

JV Parle1, JA Franklyn2, S Wilson1, L Roberts1, R Holder1, MC Sheppard2, FDR Hobbs1, A Roalfe1, M Gammage2, C Heath1 & H Pattison


1Division of Primary Care, Public and Occupational Health, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 2Division of Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. 3School of Life and Health Sciences, University of Aston, Birmingham, UK


Thyroid dysfunction is common, particularly in the elderly, and has an important impact on morbidity and mortality, especially in this age group.

Aim: We have investigated associations between thyroid function, presence of atrial fibrillation and cognitive function in a large general practice-based study conducted from December 2002-November 2004. Subjects with a previous history of thyroid disease or currently taking thyroxine or anti-thyroid drugs were excluded. We report a preliminary analysis of the data concerning the proportion of subjects with abnormal TSH (measured using a sensitive assay) and fT4 values.

Method: 5784 subjects aged 65 or over had TSH and fT4 measurements performed. The mean age of subjects was 73.5 years; 49.3% male (mean age 73.3), 50.7% female (mean age 73.7). Reference ranges for TSH were 0.4-5.5mU/l and fT4 9-20 pmol/l

Conclusion: in this the largest UK based study of community living subjects of 60 years and over we have demonstrated that a high proportion have both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, especially subclinical disease.

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