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eISSN: 1643-3750

Prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in women with type 2 diabetes

Avraham Ishay, Ilena Chertok-Shaham, Idit Lavi, Rafael Luboshitzky

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(4): CR151-155

ID: 869614

Published: 2009-03-30


Background: Subclinical hypothyroidism is a common thyroid disorder. Although there is a recognized association between thyroid disease and diabetes mellitus, there is no definite answer as to whether screening for subclinical hypothyroidism is necessary in patients with type 2 diabetes. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in women with type 2 diabetes. MATERIAL/MEthods: Four hundred ten women with type 2 diabetes (aged 59.6+/-10.9 years) and 125 women without diabetes (aged 51.8+/-15.8 years) were studied. Subclinical hypothyroidism was defined as a thyroid stimulating hormone level above the upper normal limit together and a normal free thyroxine level. Measurements of lipids, glycosylated hemoglobin, and antithyroid antibody levels were also performed.
Material and Method:
Results: After excluding patients with previous thyroid disease, the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism was similar between patients with diabetes and control subjects (5.4% vs 7.9%, respectively) (P=0.32). When patients with known thyroid disease were included, the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism between groups was similar (9% in diabetes vs 8% in control subjects) (P=0.75). Across all participants, positivity for antithyroid antibody was significantly higher in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism than in euthyroid subjects.
Conclusions: The similar prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in women with type 2 diabetes and women without diabetes suggests that routine screening of thyroid function in patients with type 2 diabetes is unwarranted.

Keywords: Israel - epidemiology, Hypothyroidism - epidemiology, Humans, Female, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 - complications, Case-Control Studies, Aged, Middle Aged, Prevalence



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