Hypothyroidism and Hypertension

Stella Stabouli; Sofia Papakatsika; Vasilios Kotsis


Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2010;8(11):1559-1565. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Hypothyroidism has been recognized as a cause of secondary hypertension. Previous studies on the prevalence of hypertension in subjects with hypothyroidism have demonstrated elevated blood pressure values. Increased peripheral vascular resistance and low cardiac output has been suggested to be the possible link between hypothyroidism and diastolic hypertension. The hypothyroid population is characterized by significant volume changes, initiating a volume-dependent, low plasma renin activity mechanism of blood pressure elevation. This article summarizes previous studies on the impact of hypothyroidism on blood pressure and early atherosclerotic process.


Hypothyroidism has been recognized as a cause of secondary hypertension.[1,2] The most common type of hypothyroidism is that caused by primary thyroid gland failure. Basic causes of primary hypothyroidism are autoimmune, silent, postablative, goitrous, athyreotic and nonautoimmune (e.g., Riedel's), and subacute thyroiditis.[3] Chronic autoimmune lymphocytic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) is the most common cause of thyroid gland dysfunction. Replacement of lacking thyroid hormones reduces high blood pressure (BP) and total cardiovascular risk.[4] Similar effects have also been described in subclinical hypothyroidism.[5]