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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 May;93(5):1751-7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2007-2368. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Antithyroperoxidase and antithyroglobulin antibodies in a five-year follow-up survey of populations with different iodine intakes.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the Institute of Endocrinology, First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, no.155 Nanjing Bei Street, Heping District, Shenyang, China.



In a follow-up study, we determined the prevalence, incidence, and natural course of positive antithyroperoxidase antibodies (TPOAbs) and antithyroglobulin antibodies (TgAbs) in the general population and examined the influences of iodine intake.


The study was conducted in Panshan, Zhangwu, and Huanghua, regions with mildly deficient, more than adequate, and excessive iodine intake, respectively. Of the 3761 unselected subjects who were enrolled at baseline, 3018 participated in the 5-yr follow-up study. Serum TSH, TPOAb, and TgAb levels were measured.


Among subjects in Panshan, Zhangwu, and Huanghua, the prevalence of positive TPOAbs was 11.23, 11.83 and 12.02%, respectively, whereas 11.23, 11.17, and 11.26% of subjects were TgAb positive, respectively. In the older population (> or =45 yr), TgAb-positive individuals were more frequent in Huanghua than Panshan and Zhangwu (P < 0.05). The 5-yr cumulative incidence of positive TPOAb was 2.08, 3.84, and 2.84% in Panshan, Zhangwu, and Huanghua, respectively, whereas 2.91, 3.64, and 5.07% of subjects were TgAb positive, respectively (P < 0.05), corresponding to the increase in iodine intake. Subjects who were TPOAb and/or TgAb positive at baseline developed thyroid dysfunctions more frequently than those without antibodies (14.44 vs. 3.31%, P < 0.01); their incidence of elevated TSH levels was 1.32, 8.46, and 15.38% in Panshan, Zhangwu, and Huanghua, respectively (P < 0.05).


Subjects who were TPOAb and TgAb positive at baseline developed thyroid dysfunctions more frequently than seronegative subjects. High iodine intake was a risk factor for developing hypothyroidism in antibody-positive subjects. A constant exposure to excessive iodine intake increased the incidence of positive TgAb.

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