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Eur Radiol. 2016 Dec;26(12):4490-4496. Epub 2016 Mar 14.

High levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone are associated with aortic wall thickness in the general population.

Author information

1
Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Walther Rathenau Str. 48, D-17475, Greifswald, Germany. till.ittermann@uni-greifswald.de.
2
DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany. till.ittermann@uni-greifswald.de.
3
Institute for Clinical Radiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.
4
DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
5
Department of Internal Medicine B - Cardiology, Intensive Care, Pulmonary Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
6
Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
7
Institut für Experimentelle Endokrinologie, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
8
Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Walther Rathenau Str. 48, D-17475, Greifswald, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our aim was to investigate the association of thyroid function defined by serum concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with thoracic aortic wall thickness (AWT) as a marker of atherosclerotic processes.

METHODS:

We pooled data of 2,679 individuals from two independent population-based surveys of the Study of Health in Pomerania. Aortic diameter and AWT measurements were performed on a 1.5-T MRI scanner at the concentration of the right pulmonary artery displaying the ascending and the descending aorta.

RESULTS:

TSH, treated as continuous variable, was significantly associated with descending AWT (β = 0.11; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.02-0.21), while the association with ascending AWT was not statistically significant (β = 0.20; 95 % CI -0.01-0.21). High TSH (>3.29 mIU/L) was significantly associated with ascending (β = 0.12; 95 % CI 0.02-0.23) but not with descending AWT (β = 0.06; 95 % CI -0.04-0.16). There was no consistent association between TSH and aortic diameters.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study demonstrated that AWT values increase with increasing serum TSH concentrations. Thus, a hypothyroid state may be indicative for aortic atherosclerosis. These results fit very well to the findings of previous studies pointing towards increased atherosclerotic risk in the hypothyroid state.

KEY POINTS:

• Serum TSH concentrations are positively associated with aortic wall thickness. • Serum TSH concentrations are not associated with the aortic diameters. • Serum 3,5-diiodothyronine concentrations may be positively associated with aortic wall thickness.

KEYWORDS:

3,5-diiodothyronine; Aorta; Atherosclerosis; Epidemiology; High thyrotropin

PMID:
26973144
DOI:
10.1007/s00330-016-4316-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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