Objective: Dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and also primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Metabolic abnormalities in mild pHPT have been reported, but never in cases with normal calcium and high parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, i.e. suffering from ‘normocalcemic pHPT’. Our aim was to explore the occurrence of these metabolic abnormalities in individuals with normocalcemic pHPT identified in a population-based screening, and the effects of parathyroidectomy vs conservative treatment on metabolic variables.
Design and methods: A population-based screening of 5202 post-menopausal women identified 30 patients with normal calcium, inappropriately high PTH and normal creatinine. A 5-year follow-up included 15 parathyroidectomized (PTx) and nine conservatively followed cases, in a non-randomized setting, together with age-matched controls. Biochemical variables and body mass index (BMI) were investigated.
Results: At study entry, cases had higher calcium, PTH, glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)/high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol, total triglycerides, and BMI compared to controls (P = < 0.0001–0.035). The cases had a lower HDL-cholesterol value (P = 0.013) and one third of the cases had hypertriglyceridemia. During follow-up, the PTx cases decreased in calcium, PTH, LDL/HDL-cholesterol, total and LDL-cholesterol (P = 0.0076–0.022). Investigated biochemical variables remained adverse in conservatively followed cases during follow-up except a decreased LDL-cholesterol value. All surgically treated patients had parathyroid adenoma.
Conclusions: Cases with normocalcemic pHPT have increased proatherogenic lipoprotein levels, BMI and glucose levels compared to age-matched controls. Parathyroidectomy has positive effects on some of these variables and reverses them to the same level as the controls, while conservative treatment fails to normalize the investigated metabolic variables.