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J Intern Med. 2018 Jan;283(1):56-72. doi: 10.1111/joim.12688. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Association between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and change in bone mineral density in prospective cohorts.

Author information

1
Department of General Internal Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
2
Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
4
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
5
Service of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
6
Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
7
Centre on Aging and Mobility, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
8
Department of Geriatrics, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
9
Department of Internal Medicine & Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
10
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
11
Department of Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA.
12
Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
13
Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.
14
Department of Public Health and Primary Care & Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
15
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Subclinical hyperthyroidism (SHyper) has been associated with increased risk of hip and other fractures, but the linking mechanisms remain unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and bone loss.

METHODS:

Individual participant data analysis was performed after a systematic literature search in MEDLINE/EMBASE (1946-2016). Two reviewers independently screened and selected prospective cohorts providing baseline thyroid status and serial bone mineral density (BMD) measurements. We classified thyroid status as euthyroidism (thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH] 0.45-4.49 mIU/L), SHyper (TSH < 0.45 mIU/L) and subclinical hypothyroidism (SHypo, TSH ≥ 4.50-19.99 mIU/L) both with normal free thyroxine levels. Our primary outcome was annualized percentage BMD change (%ΔBMD) from serial dual X-ray absorptiometry scans of the femoral neck, total hip and lumbar spine, obtained from multivariable regression in a random-effects two-step approach.

RESULTS:

Amongst 5458 individuals (median age 72 years, 49.1% women) from six prospective cohorts, 451 (8.3%) had SHypo and 284 (5.2%) had SHyper. During 36 569 person-years of follow-up, those with SHyper had a greater annual bone loss at the femoral neck versus euthyroidism: %ΔBMD = -0.18 (95% CI: -0.34, -0.02; I2 = 0%), with a nonstatistically significant pattern at the total hip: %ΔBMD = -0.14 (95% CI: -0.38, 0.10; I2 = 53%), but not at the lumbar spine: %ΔBMD = 0.03 (95% CI: -0.30, 0.36; I2 = 25%); especially participants with TSH < 0.10 mIU/L showed an increased bone loss in the femoral neck (%Δ BMD = -0.59; [95% CI: -0.99, -0.19]) and total hip region (%ΔBMD = -0.46 [95% CI: -1.05, -0.13]). In contrast, SHypo was not associated with bone loss at any site.

CONCLUSION:

Amongst adults, SHyper was associated with increased femoral neck bone loss, potentially contributing to the increased fracture risk.

KEYWORDS:

bone density; bone loss; hyperthyroidism; hypothyroidism; prospective studies; thyroid disease

PMID:
29034571
PMCID:
PMC5739958
DOI:
10.1111/joim.12688
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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