Metabolic syndrome prevalence in subclinic and overt hypothyroid patients and the relation among metabolic syndrome parameters

J Endocrinol Invest. Jul-Aug 2011;34(7):488-92. doi: 10.3275/7202. Epub 2010 Jul 22.


Objective: One of the common features of hypothyroidism is weight gain or failure to lose weight. Bradycardia and mild hypertension can be seen as well. Impact of thyroid hormone deficiency on glucose and insulin metabolism is not fully understood. Thyroid hormones play a role in lipid synthesis, metabolism and mobilization. Metabolic syndrome is a status where most features of hypothyroidism can be seen. Our aim is to investigate the frequency of metabolic syndrome in hypothyroid patients.

Methods: One hundred overt hypothyroid patients, 100 subclinical hypothyroid patients and 200 healthy controls enroled in this study. The Third Adult Treatment Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP-ATP III) criteria were used for metabolic syndrome diagnosis.

Results: Body mass index was similar among the groups. Waist circumference was lower in the control group than in the hypothyroid patients (p=0.0001). Homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) insulin resistance was higher in the hypothyroid group than in the control (p=0.008) and subclinical hypothyroid (p=0.014) groups. Metabolic syndrome prevalence was 44% in the hypothyroid group, 35% in the subclinical hypothyroid group and 33% in the control group (p=0.016 for the hypothyroid group vs controls and p=0.002 for the hypothyroid group vs subclinical hypothyroid group). Waist circumference was larger in the hypothyroid metabolic syndrome patients than in the subclinical hypothyroid group and controls (p=0.001). Blood glucose, lipid parameters and blood pressure were similar among the groups.

Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome is increased in patients with hypothyroidism, therefore hypothyroidism should be considered in newly diagnosed metabolic syndrome patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis
  • Hypothyroidism / epidemiology*
  • Hypothyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


  • Triglycerides