Thyroid function and cholesterol level: paradoxical findings in large groups of population with high cholesterol food intake.Endocr Regul. 2003 Sep; 37(3):175-80.ER
To compare the levels of serum cholesterol with thyroid function as estimated by the level of thyrotropin and free thyroxine with possible participation of thyroperoxidase antibodies in large number of adults examined within large field surveys focused on the evaluation of thyroid status of Slovak rural population.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Serum level of cholesterol and thyrotropin (TSH) was estimated in a total of 2786 adults. In addition, in 2038 of them also the level of free thyroxine (FT4), total triiodothyronine (TT3), cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids was measured. The levels of TSH, anti-TPO and FT4 were estimated by supersensitive electrochemiluminiscent immunoassay using the automatic system Elecsys (Roche, Switzerland).
A total of 2786 adults was stratified into 7 groups according to the range of TSH level as related to generally recognized level of thyroid function, e.g. 1. TSH <0.10 mU/L (overt hyperthyroidism, N=41), 2. TSH 0.11-0.30 mU/L (overt or subclinical hyperthyroidism, N=149), 3. TSH 0.31-2.50 mU/L (normal level, N=1750), 4. TSH 2.51-4.50 ("high normal" level, N=607), 5 TSH 4.51-6.50 (mild or incipient subclinical hypothyroidism, N=137), 6. TSH 6.51-10.00 mU/L (mild hypothyroidism, N=50), 7. TSH 10.01-99.00 mU/L (severe hypothyroidism, N=53). The average levels of cholesterol in all groups were very similar ranging from 5.53 to 6.17 mmol/L and no interrelations with TSH level were found. In addition, no considerable differences between these groups were found when considering the levels of medians, upper quartiles and 90th percentiles of individual groups. When male and female subjects were divided into age groups according to the decades, an age dependent increase of cholesterol level was found in both sexes. The fraction of 2038 subjects was divided into the same TSH related groups as defined above. Similarly as above, no considerable differences in cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids level were observed. However, the levels of FT4 and TT3 were significantly decreasing with the increase of TSH level which confirmed the continuing decrease of thyroid function. The frequency of positive anti-TPO in subjects with TSH >6.5 mU/l (71/86 = 82.5%) was significantly higher than that in subjects with TSH <6.5 mU/l (468/1952 = 23.9%).
No difference in the level of cholesterol and triglycerides was found in large groups of rural adults from Slovakia with various thyroid function as estimated by the level of TSH, FT4, TT3 and anti-TPO. It is assumed that this interrelation resulted from very high cholesterol intake due to inappropriate general nutritional status of rural population resulting from the consumption of unhealthy foods.