Seasonal Changes in Serum Thyrotropin Concentrations Observed from Big Data Obtained During Six Consecutive Years from 2010 to 2015 at a Single Hospital in Japan

Thyroid. 2018 Apr;28(4):429-436. doi: 10.1089/thy.2017.0600. Epub 2018 Apr 2.


Background: This study analyzed big data for serum thyrotropin (TSH), free triiodothyronine (fT3), and free thyroxine (fT4) concentrations in patients who had attended the outpatient clinic of Ito Hospital (Tokyo, Japan) during a recent six-year period (between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2015) in order to investigate for seasonal changes.

Methods: The serum TSH concentrations were reviewed for all 135,417 patients aged >20 years. Patients with any thyroid diseases were included, irrespective of whether they were receiving drug therapy. In total 1,637,721 serum samples were analyzed for TSH, 1,626,269 for fT3, and 1,669,381 for fT4.

Results: It was observed that the TSH concentrations showed annual changes during the six-year period. They decreased during the summer, while they increased during the winter. The TSH concentrations were negatively correlated with the daily temperatures (Spearman rank correlation coefficient -0.4486; p < 0.0001). The same applied for the correlation between fT3 concentrations and daily temperatures.

Conclusions: The fact that the TSH concentrations show annual changes in areas where the temperature ranges during the year are rather wide should be borne in mind for interpretation of results.

Keywords: free thyroxine; free triiodothyronine; seasonal changes; serum thyrotropin; temperatures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seasons*
  • Thyroid Diseases / blood*
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / blood*
  • Triiodothyronine / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine