Thyroid disease in primary Sjögren syndrome. Study in a series of 160 patients

Medicine (Baltimore). 2000 Mar;79(2):103-8. doi: 10.1097/00005792-200003000-00004.


We studied 160 consecutive patients (147 female and 13 male) with primary Sjögren syndrome (SS) to determine the prevalence and clinical significance of thyroid disease in a large series of patients with primary SS from our unit and to compare the prevalence and significance with those in 75 individuals without SS from a primary care center. Serum levels of thyroid hormones (free thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and thyroid-stimulating hormone) and autoantibodies against thyroglobulin (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) were measured in all SS patients and in 75 control patients. Fifty-eight (36%) of the 160 patients with primary SS had evidence of thyroid disease. Autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) was diagnosed in 32 (20%) patients and nonautoimmune thyroid disease (NATD) in 26 (16%). No significant differences were found when these prevalences were compared with those in control patients. On the other hand, comparing those patients with altered hormonal profiles, patients with NATD showed mainly hyperthyroidism (10/17, 59% versus 2/20, 10% in patients with ATD, p = 0.001). Finally, when clinical and immunologic manifestations of SS were analyzed in patients with and without thyroid disease, respectively, we found that patients with thyroid disease had a higher prevalence of female gender (98% versus 88%, p = 0.03), antiparietal cell autoantibodies (33% versus 12%, p = 0.002), TgAb (30% versus 5%, p < 0.001), and TPOAb (40% versus 5%, p < 0.001). In conclusion, thyroid disease occurred in more than one-third of patients with primary SS; the main cause was ATD, which was present in 20% of the patients studied. We note that no significant differences were observed when the prevalence of thyroid disease (either ATD or NATD) was compared with that in a control group of similar age and gender. Our results indicate that middle-aged women (with or without SS) should be screened periodically for thyroid function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / blood
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Thyroid Diseases / blood
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications*
  • Thyroid Diseases / immunology
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Autoantibodies
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine