LDL Cholesterol Elevated in Sluggish Thyroid

August 13, 2008

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 LDL Cholesterol Elevated in Sluggish Thyroid
OBJECTIVE: It is uncertain whether subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is associated with hypercholesterolaemia, particularly in subjects with SCH and serum TSH < or = 10 mU/l. Design,

PATIENTS AND MEASUREMENTS: Cross-sectional study of 2108 participants in a 1981 community health survey in Busselton, Western Australia. Serum total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured in all subjects and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) measured (and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) calculated) in a subgroup of 631 subjects at the time of the survey. In 2001, TSH and free T4 concentrations were measured on archived sera stored at -70 degrees C. Serum lipid concentrations in subjects with thyroid dysfunction and euthyroid subjects were compared using linear regression models.

RESULTS: In the group as a whole, serum total cholesterol was higher in subjects with SCH (N = 119) than in euthyroid subjects (N = 1906) (mean +/- SD 6.3 +/- 1.3 mmol/l vs. 5.8 +/- 1.2 mmol/l, P < 0.001 unadjusted, P = 0.061 adjusted for age, age(2) and sex). Serum total cholesterol was similarly elevated in subjects with SCH and TSH < or = 10 mU/l (N = 89) (6.3 +/- 1.3 mmol/l, P < 0.001 unadjusted, P = 0.055 adjusted for age, age(2) and sex). In the subgroup analysis, LDL-C was higher in subjects with SCH (N = 30) than in euthyroid subjects (N = 580) (4.1 +/- 1.2 mmol/l vs. 3.5 +/- 1.0 mmol/l, P < 0.01 unadjusted, P = 0.024 adjusted for age, age(2) and sex). LDL-C was significantly increased in subjects with SCH and TSH < or = 10 mU/l (N = 23) (4.3 +/- 1.3 mmol/l, P < 0.001 unadjusted, P = 0.002 adjusted for age, age(2) and sex).

CONCLUSION: SCH is associated with increased serum LDL-C concentrations, which is significant after adjustment for age, age(2) and sex.

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