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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2005 December;96(6):391-6

language: Italian

Evaluation of thyroid function in a group of over-eighty year-old people

Ruotolo G., Dattilo B., Gareri P., La Cava R., Talarico F., De Nardo F., Galasso S., Tancrè D., Galasso D.


Aim. A number of studies has shown that during aging thyroid presents some structural changes, whilst no data agree about secretory activity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate thyroid function in a group of healthy over-80 years old people vs a group of young subjects.
Methods. This study was performed on 48 old people, 33 women (68.75%) and 15 men (31.25%), mean age 86.38±5.20 years old and 43 young subjects, mean age 33.35±3.75 years old; all of them were euthyroid and were not affected with any acute or chronic diseases and did not take any drugs which could interfere with thyroid function. A blood sample was taken from each patient, for dosing TT3, TT4, FT3, FT4, TSH, TgAb, TPOAb.
Results. The results of the present study show low serum levels of TT3 in healthy over-80 year old people compared to young people, even if serum levels of TT4, FT3, FT4, TSH have no significant changes.
Conclusion. Functional reduction in thyroid activity during aging has not to be considered responsible for senile involution; it is more appropriate to define it as the expression of a metabolic slow down in the elderly.

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