March 30, 2015
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Higher TSH levels linked to unfavorable lipid levels in children, adolescents

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In children and adolescents, higher levels of thyroid stimulating hormone are associated with less favorable lipid profiles, according to recent findings.

Natalie B. V. Riblet, MD, of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated 6,622 children (aged 3-10 years) and 6,134 adolescents (aged 11-17 years) enrolled in the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents to determine the association between TSH and lipid profiles. The researchers measured body height and weight for all participants and calculated BMI scores.

The researchers used the electroluminescence method to determine levels of TSH, free triiodothyronine and free thyroxine. The researchers used enzymatic color analyses to measure total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.

The researchers found that there was a significant positive correlation between TSH and all lipid parameters except HDL cholesterol in children (total cholesterol, beta = .9; LDL, beta = .78; and triglycerides, beta = .9) and in adolescents (total cholesterol, beta = .9; LDL, beta = .67; and triglycerides, beta = .92; P < .05).

Stratified models revealed that this correlation was especially strong in children with overweight and obesity. Moreover, a significant association was seen between high TSH levels in children non-HDL lipid parameters.

“In conclusion, we demonstrated that, in children and adolescents, there is a positive association between TSH and all lipid parameters, except HDL-cholesterol,” the researchers wrote. “Furthermore, in children with high TSH, we found that TSH is significantly associated with all lipid parameters except HDL. Additional studies, however, are needed to confirm and to delineate our findings, especially concerning the role of changes in overall hormonal levels with age, which are known to substantially differ within childhood and puberty.” – by Jennifer Byrne

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.