The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Patient Education Site

Signs and symptoms of
parathyroid disease

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Cardiovascular disease

Primary hyperparathyroidism may have negative effects on the heart and blood vessels that include high blood pressure (hypertension), hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), coronary artery disease, an enlarging heart (left ventricular hypertrophy), and abnormalities in the normal electrical activity of the heart (arrhythmias). 4-7 It is not clear how primary hyperparathyroidism affects these many different cardiac functions. The high levels of calcium can lead to calcium deposits in the blood vessels and on the valves of the heart impairing their function. Calcium can also affect how the electrical impulses travel through the heart. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) may also have a direct toxic effect on the function of the heart muscle. Studies have shown that after a successful parathyroid operation, many (but not all of these heart problems) can significantly, if not completely, improve. 38


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