The relationship between circulating estradiol and thyroid autoimmunity in males

Eur J Endocrinol. 2013 Nov 22;170(1):63-7. doi: 10.1530/EJE-13-0455. Print 2014 Jan.


Introduction: Although autoimmune thyroid disease is less common in males, it is unclear whether estrogen contributes to the difference in susceptibility among males.

Objective: To examine whether circulating estradiol (E₂) is related to thyroid autoimmunity in males.

Patients and methods: One-thousand two-hundred and sixty-three males aged 15-94 years were studied. Serum levels of E₂, TSH receptor antibody (TRAb), thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb), free thyroxine (FT₄), and TSH were measured by ELISA.

Results: Circulating E₂ varied widely in males, ranging 18.4-403.7 pmol/l with a mean value of 136.2±51.7 pmol/l. E₂ increased with age (r=0.18, P<0.001). No relationship between E₂ and BMI was found. When comparing the difference in E₂ according to the test results of TRAb, TPOAb, and TgAb, it was found that E₂ was significantly higher in subjects with positive TRAb (TRAb positive, E₂=170.3±59.8 pmol/l; TRAb negative, E₂=134.0±50.6 pmol/l; P<0.001). No difference in E₂ was demonstrated according to the results of TPOAb or TgAb. Logistic regression analysis showed that E₂ was a determinant of positive TRAb, independent of age and BMI. There was no relationship between serum E₂ and TSH or FT₄. However, E₂ was negatively related to TSH (r=-0.45, P<0.01) in subjects whose TSH levels fell below the reference range (0.3-4.2 mIU/l).

Conclusion: Higher circulating E₂ is related to thyroid autoimmunity in males as reflected by positive TRAb.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Estradiol / blood*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating / analysis*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thailand
  • Thyroid Gland / immunology*
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / blood*
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / physiopathology
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Thyroxine / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating
  • anti-thyroglobulin
  • thyroid microsomal antibodies
  • thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin
  • Estradiol
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine