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Thyroid Function Testing in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Hyperlipidemia

Devina L. Willard, MD1; Angela M. Leung, MD, MSc2; Elizabeth N. Pearce, MD, MSc3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
2Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles
3Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition; Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):287-289. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12188.
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Hypothyroidism is present in 1.4% to 13% of patients with hyperlipidemia.1 Overt hypothyroidism is a secondary cause of hyperlipidemia and associated coronary heart disease.2 Cholesterol profiles may be improved by treating overt hypothyroidism.

Current guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the American Thyroid Association recommend screening for hypothyroidism in patients with newly diagnosed hyperlipidemia prior to starting a lipid-lowering agent.36 It is unclear how well these guidelines are being followed in clinical practice. We performed a retrospective cohort study to determine the prevalence of thyroid function screening in patients with newly diagnosed hyperlipidemia at an inner-city academic medical center (Boston Medical Center [BMC]).

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Flowchart of Patients Evaluated

LDL-C indicates low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone.

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