Effect of thyroid function on LDL oxidation in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism

Endocr Res. 2004 Aug;30(3):481-9. doi: 10.1081/erc-200036185.


Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are highly suspected of initiating the atherosclerosis process. Hypothyroidism is frequently associated with hypercholesterolemia and carries increased risk for atherosclerosis. In contrast to hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is not associated with increased LDL cholesterol, but is associated with increased oxidized LDL. This study was designed to evaluate the changes in LDL oxidation in subjects with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and to reveal the effects of treatment in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism on LDL oxidation and lipid profiles. Thirty-two patients with hypothyroidism and 16 patients with hyperthyroidism were studied before the therapy and thereafter, when they were euthyroid with appropriate treatment. Plasma lipids and lipoproteins, and the oxidizability of LDL by determining the levels of malonaldehyde bis (dimethyacetyl) (MDA) and diene conjugation, were determined at baseline and after the patients were rendered euthyroid. The actual content of dienes in LDL particles was increased in hypothyroidism, with a decrease after T4 supplementation (p < .001). Dienes in LDL particles were increased in hyperthyroidism, with a decrease after treatment (p < .05). In hypothyroid patients, the lag phase was shorter in the pretreatment period than in the euthyroid period (p > .05). The lag phase of hyperthyroid patients was shorter in the pretreatment period than in the euthyroid period and hypothyroid state (p < .001). The Cu2+-catalyzed dienes of LDL and MDA oxidation in the hypothyroid state and the subsequent euthyroid states were decreased (p < .001). The Cu2+-catalyzed dienes of LDL (p < .01) and MDA oxidation (p < .001) in hyperthyroid patients after treatment were decreased. The enhanced LDL oxidation may play a role in the cardiac disease process in both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / blood*
  • Hyperthyroidism / therapy
  • Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Hypothyroidism / therapy
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*


  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Thyroxine