Thyrotropin levels are associated with chronic kidney disease among healthy subjects in cross-sectional analysis of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil)

Clin Exp Nephrol. 2017 Dec;21(6):1035-1043. doi: 10.1007/s10157-017-1400-2. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Background: Few studies have evaluated a possible relationship between thyrotropin levels and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and albumin/creatinine ratio in euthyroid subjects. We aimed to analyze this association using baseline data from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil).

Methods: Cross-sectionally, we included subjects with normal thyroid function and with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH). We excluded individuals using medications that affect thyroid function. Linear and logistic regression models evaluated GFR estimated by Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-Epi) and albuminuria/creatinine ratio as dependent variables and thyrotropin quartiles in individuals with euthyroidism and SCH as independent variables, adjusted for demographical characteristics and diseases related to CKD.

Results: We included 13,193 subjects with a median age of 51 years [interquartile range, (IQR): 45-58], 6840 (51.8%) women, 12,416 (94.1%) euthyroid, and 777 (5.9%) with SCH. SCH subjects were characterized by higher age, triglycerides, frequency of white race, cardiovascular disease, CKD, and former smokers. In adjusted models, log-transformed TSH in euthyroid subjects was inversely and strongly associated with CKD (β = -2.181, 95% CI -2.714 to -1.648), P < 0.0001 for glomerular filtration rate and 4.528 (1.190-7.865) for albuminuria/creatinine ratio. Multivariate logistic models for euthyroid subjects showed an OR of 1.45 (95% CI 1.15-1.83) for GFR and of 1.95 (95% CI 1.08-3.54) for albuminuria/creatinine ratio in the fourth quartile of TSH using the first as the reference.

Conclusions: Thyrotropin levels are independently associated with CKD in euthyroid subjects.

Keywords: CKD-Epi; Chronic kidney disease; Glomerular filtration rate; Subclinical hypothyroidism; Thyroid dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Thyrotropin / blood*


  • Thyrotropin