American Thyroid Association

American Thyroid Association

November 05, 2014
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TSH levels not linked to metabolic syndrome in patients with overweight, obesity

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CORONADO, Calif. — Serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels do not appear to be a risk factor for metabolic syndrome in adults with overweight and obesity, according to findings presented at the American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting.

Metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “Thyroid dysfunction is also a known cardiovascular risk factor, mediated at least in part by its effect on lipid metabolism and blood pressure. In obese patients, serum TSH tends to be higher than in lean controls.”

Swetha Kommareddy, MD, of the endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition section at Boston Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional observational study of 3,447 adults (mean age, 46.74 years; mean BMI, 38.32 kg/m2) to determine the association between serum TSH and metabolic syndrome.

According to the abstract, researchers defined metabolic syndrome as: waist circumference ≥40 inches in men or ≥35 inches in women; serum triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL or drug treatment for elevated triglycerides; serum HDL <40 mg/dL in men or <50 mg/dL in women or drug treatment for low HDL; blood pressure ≥130 mm Hg/85 mm Hg or antihypertensive treatment; fasting plasma glucose ≥100 mg/dL or drug treatment for elevated blood glucose or history of diabetes or elevated HbA1c ≥5.7%.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 71.84% for 1,005 participants whose data were complete.

Median serum TSH was higher among participants with metabolic syndrome (1.405 mcIU/mL) compared with participants without metabolic syndrome (1.36 mcIU/mL; P=.45).

No significant association was found between serum TSH levels and the presence of metabolic syndrome after adjustment for age, sex, race, education, socioeconomic status and smoking. “Serum TSH level does not appear to be a potentially modifiable risk factor for [metabolic syndrome] in obese and overweight subjects,” the researchers wrote.

For more information:

Kommareddy S. Poster #27. Presented at: American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting; Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2014; Coronado, Calif.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.