Horm Metab Res 2004; 36(9): 650-653
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-825925
Original Clinical
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Depression and Anxiety in Different Thyroid Function States

R.  Larisch1 , K.  Kley1 , S.  Nikolaus1 , W.  Sitte2 , M.  Franz2 , H.  Hautzel1 , W.  Tress2 , H.-W.  Müller1
  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received 9 February 2004

Accepted after revision 24 March 2004

Publication Date:
15 October 2004 (online)


Previous studies on hypothyroid subjects have indicated serious psychiatric symptoms affecting the patients’ quality of life. The present prospective cross-sectional study’s aim was to examine these symptoms in thyroid patients with different functional states. A total of 254 patients (age: 56 ± 14 years [mean ± standard deviation], 181 female, 73 male) referred to a hospital for radioiodine treatment of hyperthyroidism or for follow-up of differentiated thyroid cancer, respectively, were included. All patients underwent the twelve-item general health questionnaire, which is an instrument for detecting mood disturbances. Euthyroid and hyperthyroid patients did not differ significantly in their general health questionnaire score (11 ± 5 vs. 11 ± 7), nor did subclinical hyperthyroid (11 ± 6) or subclinical hypothyroid subjects (12 ± 5). In contrast, hypothyroid patients showed a significantly higher mean score (17 ± 7, p < 0.001, ANOVA). Binary logistic regression revealed that hypothyroidism increases age and gender-adjusted risk for critical mood deterioration by seven-fold. Thus, hypothyroidism represents a widely underestimated functional condition that may severely affect mental health.


R. Larisch, M.D.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Heinrich-Heine-University

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Email: Rolf.Larisch@uni-duesseldorf.de