Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Chim Acta. 2012 Feb 18;413(3-4):396-405. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2011.11.013. Epub 2011 Nov 27.

Thyroid function in childhood obesity and metabolic comorbidity.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Childhood obesity is a worldwide health problem and its prevalence is increasing steadily and dramatically all over the world. Obese subjects have a much greater likelihood than normal-weight children of acquiring dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and impaired glucose metabolism, which significantly increase their risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Elevated TSH concentrations in association with normal or slightly elevated free T4 and/or free T3 levels have been consistently found in obese subjects, but the mechanisms underlying these thyroid hormonal changes are still unclear. Whether higher TSH in childhood obesity is adaptive, increasing metabolic rate in an attempt to reduce further weight gain, or indicates subclinical hypothyroidism or resistance and thereby contributes to lipid and/or glucose dysmetabolism, remains controversial. This review highlights current evidence on thyroid involvement in obese children and discusses the current controversy regarding the relationship between thyroid hormonal derangements and obesity-related metabolic changes (hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) in such population. Moreover, the possible mechanisms linking thyroid dysfunction and pediatric obesity are reviewed. Finally, the potential role of lifestyle intervention as well as of therapy with thyroid hormone in the treatment of thyroid abnormalities in childhood obesity is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center