Magazine article Science News

Bone Density Drops with Thyroid Therapy

Magazine article Science News

Bone Density Drops with Thyroid Therapy

Article excerpt

Bone density drops with thyroid therapy

Premenopausal women undergoing long-term therapy with thyroid hormones suffer a loss of hip-bone mass and may have an increased risk of hip fractures later in life, a new study indicates. The report's authors suggest thyroid hormones -- among the most commonly prescribed medications for woment -- are less innocuous than many doctors believe and dosages should be carefully monitored and tailored to individual needs.

Thyroid hormones are prescribed, often in doses higher than those considered physiologically normal, for a variety of conditions characterized by a decline in thyroid-gland activity. The therapy can restore normal hormone levels or can mimic hyperthyroidism, in which thyroid gland function is increased above normal levels, to suppress other hormones that can exacerbate cancer or goiter.

Naturally occurring hyperthyroidism has been associated with osteoporosis, a progressive weakening of the bones due to decreased bone density. But other factors -- including decreased estrogen levels in older women -- also lead to osteoporosis, and this has confounded previous studies looking at the influence of thyroid hormone therapy on bone density.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester studied 31 premenopausal women who received l-thyroxin (l-T.sub.4.) for at least five years and compared their bone densities with those of age- and weight-matched women not on the hormone. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.