Background: Heart failure (HF) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome caused by impaired heart function. The high morbidity and mortality of HF cause a heavy burden of illness worldwide. Non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) refers to aberrant serum thyroid parameters in patients without past thyroid disease. Observational studies have indicated that NTIS is associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality in HF. This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the association between NTIS and HF prognosis.
Methods: Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database were searched for any studies reporting an association between NTIS and HF prognosis from inception to July 1st 2022. A meta-analysis was then performed. The quality of studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). The heterogeneity of the results was assessed with I2 and Cochran's Q statistics. Sensitivity analysis and publication bias analysis were also conducted.
Results: A total of 626 studies were retrieved, and 18 studies were finally included in the meta-analysis. The results showed that NTIS in HF patients was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and major cardiovascular events (MACE), but not with in-hospital mortality. The stability of the data was validated by the sensitivity analysis. There was no indication of a publication bias in the pooled results for all-cause mortality and MACE.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis showed that NTIS was associated with a worse outcome in HF patients. However, the association between NTIS and in-hospital mortality of HF patients requires further investigation.