Levothyroxine treatment and incident dementia in adults with atrial fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Levothyroxine treatment is common among older adults as is atrial fibrillation (AF), yet less is known about its potential effects on the development of dementia. Methods: The study population included all adults with diagnosed AF (n = 156,104) aged ≥ 45 years in Sweden without an earlier recorded diagnosis of dementia. Individuals with a dispensed prescription of levothyroxine on two or more occasions between July 1 2005 and December 31 2006 in Sweden were considered exposed (n = 12,978; 8.3%), and were compared to all other patients with AF without this treatment. Cox regression with hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI), with outcome defined as dementia of all causes between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2015, was used in the analysis. Adjustments were made for socio-demographic factors (age, immigration status, marital status, educational level, neighborhood socioeconomic status), co-morbidity (cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, COPD, depression, anxiety and alcohol related diagnoses), and cardiovascular medications. Results: During follow-up, a total of 9054 patients with AF were diagnosed with dementia (5.8%). We found no significant association of levothyroxine treatment and incident dementia, fully adjusted HR 1.03 (95% CI 0.96–1.11), neither among men and women, nor in different age-groups or subgroups of dementia. Conclusion: We found no significant association of levothyroxine treatment and incident dementia among patients with AF, which contrasts some earlier findings.


External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Shimane University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geriatrics
  • Neurology
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Alzheimer’s disease, Atrial fibrillation, Dementia, Drug treatment, Gender, Levothyroxine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number3
Early online date2019 May 22
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar
Publication categoryResearch