Background: Women are more likely to experience thyroid diseases than men. However, thyroid dysfunction risk in women undergoing the menopausal transition remains largely unknown. We explored the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction across menopausal stages. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 53,230 women aged 40 years or older who underwent health screening between 2014 and 2018. Menopausal stages were categorized into 4 based on the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop +10 criteria. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to estimate the prevalence ratios (PRs) with confidence intervals [CIs] for thyroid dysfunction in menopausal stages compared with that in premenopause. Results: The prevalence of overt hypothyroidism was significantly increased during late transition and postmenopause; it remained significant after further adjustments for potential confounders (age, center, year of examination, age at menarche, parity, education level, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and body mass index) with corresponding multivariable-adjusted PRs [CI] of 1.61 [1.12-2.30] and 1.66 [1.16-2.37] in the late transition and postmenopausal stages, respectively. A significant increase in the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism was also observed in the late transition and postmenopausal stage with multivariable-adjusted PRs [CI] of 1.22 [1.06-1.40] and 1.24 [1.07-1.44], respectively. In contrast, subclinical and overt hyperthyroidism were not significantly associated with menopausal stages. Conclusions: In this study of pre- and perimenopausal Korean women, the prevalence of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism was significantly elevated in the late menopausal transition. Future prospective studies are warranted to investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of thyroid dysfunction in women during menopausal transition.
Keywords: hypothyroidism; menopausal transition; menopause; thyroid dysfunction.