Subclinical hypothyroidism, mood, and cognition in older adults: a review


R. Joffe MD. E-mail:



To perform a critical review of the literature on the mood and cognitive changes associated with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH), with an emphasis on older adults. To evaluate these data against the Consensus Statement on the management of SCH from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Thyroid Association, and The Endocrine Society.


A comprehensive literature review.


Subclinical hypothyroidism may be associated with an increased risk of mood and cognitive dysfunction, although the strength of this association and the efficacy of replacement hormone therapy require further investigation.


It remains unclear whether SCH leads to significant mood and cognitive impairments in most older patients. More research is required to determine the nature and extent of this association and whether thyroid hormone replacement therapy is appropriate and effective in treating SCH-associated neurobehavioral impairments. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.