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Thyroid Problems Linked To Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

The small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck produces the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which help control many activities in your body, from how quickly you burn calories to how fast your heart beats. However, when the gland is underactive (a condition called hypothyroidism, associated with too little thyroxine) or overactive (a condition called hyperthyroidism, associated with too much thyroxine), it can wreak havoc on your body.

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Dr. Sears Comments:

Dr. Barry Sears

The fact that sudden cardiac death (this is essentially when you grab your chest and die on the spot or at least within one hour) accounts for 300-400,000 deaths per year, you realize that we really haven’t done much in treating heart disease.  Although this article describes the association of higher levels of thyroid with sudden cardiac death rates, it says nothing about lowering the risk using omega-3 fatty acids.  It is clear from animal models (Billman et al Circulation 1999 99:2452-7) that high-dose fish oil can prevent induced heart failure very effectively.  In clinical trials with low-dose fish oil, there is about a 20% reduction in mortality (Chen et al Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2011 25:259-65). Someday, may a brave cardiologist might try high-dose fish oil instead of prescribing more statins.

 

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