WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A history of hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk for dementia among individuals aged 65 years or older, according to a study published online July 6 in Neurology.

Daniel R. Wieland, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues used the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to examine the association between thyroid disorder and dementia. A total of 7,843 adults with newly diagnosed dementia without a previous history of dementia or neurodegenerative disease between 2006 and 2013 were included and matched by age and gender with 7,843 controls without a dementia diagnosis.

The researchers found that having a history of hypothyroidism was associated with an increased risk for being diagnosed with dementia among participants aged 65 years or older (adjusted odds ratio, 1.81); this association was not seen among those aged older than 50 years and younger than 65 years. The association was most significant for those aged 65 years or older with a history of hypothyroidism who received medication for hypothyroidism (adjusted odds ratio, 3.17).

“We hope these findings will better inform physicians and patients alike of the risk factors of dementia and possible therapies to prevent or slow irreversible cognitive decline,” the authors write. “We advocate that more inclusive biochemical and well controlled prospective longitudinal studies should be conducted to elucidate these potential mechanisms and relationships to serve the clinical field better.”

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