Thyroid functions and trace elements in pediatric patients with exogenous obesity

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Feb;157(2):95-100. doi: 10.1007/s12011-013-9880-8. Epub 2014 Jan 4.


Obesity is a multifactorial disease developing following impairment of the energy balance. The endocrine system is known to be affected by the condition. Serum thyroid hormones and trace element levels have been shown to be affected in obese children. Changes in serum thyroid hormones may result from alterations occurring in serum trace element levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether or not changes in serum thyroid hormone levels in children with exogenous obesity are associated with changes in trace element levels. Eighty-five children diagnosed with exogenous obesity constituted the study group, and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy children made up the control group. Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4), free triiodothyronine (fT3), thyroglobulin (TG), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and manganese (Mn) levels in the study group were measured before and at the third and sixth months of treatment, and once only in the control group. Pretreatment fT4 levels in the study group rose significantly by the sixth month (p = 0.006). Zn levels in the patient group were significantly low compared to the control group (p = 0.009). Mn and Se levels in the obese children before and at the third and sixth months of treatment were significantly higher than those of the control group (p = 0.001, p = 0.001). In conclusion, fT4, Zn, Cu, Mn, and Se levels are significantly affected in children diagnosed with exogenous obesity. The change in serum fT4 levels is not associated with changes in trace element concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Copper / blood
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / blood
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Pediatric Obesity / blood*
  • Pediatric Obesity / physiopathology
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*
  • Trace Elements / blood*
  • Zinc / blood


  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Trace Elements
  • Copper
  • Zinc