ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-3-1177

The Correlation between TSH Levels and BMI Percentiles in Hypothyroid Children Who are Chemically Euthyroid on Levothyroxine Treatment

Asma Shaobaa & Carla Minuttib


aRUSH Univeristy College of Health Sciences, Chicago, Illinois, USA; bRUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Background: Prior research has shown a correlation between TSH levels and BMI in euthyroid subjects. Whether this relation can be applied to hypothyroid chemically euthyroid children has yet to be determined.

Objective and hypotheses: To determine if there is a correlation between TSH levels and BMI percentiles in hypothyroid children who are chemically euthyroid on levothyroxine.

Method: Retrospective chart review of patients from Rush University Medical Center and Stroger Hospital (Chicago, IL, USA) from 2008 to 2014. 154 children aged (6 months and 21 years) with a diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism that were on levothyroxine therapy for at least 6 months and chemically euthyroid were included. Normal TSH levels were divided into three groups: T1 (0.34–1.5 mIU/l), T2 (1.6–2.5 mIU/l), and T3 (2.6–5.6 mIU/l). Data was analysed by cross tabulation (χ2).

Results: A total 154 patients (mean age±S.D.: 12.69±6.84 years, median age=14.88, 68% females and 32% males) were evaluated. These included 24.7% obese children (BMI percentile >95%), 20.7% overweight (BMI >85–95%), and 54.5% healthy weight (BMI <85%). There was a significant positive correlation between TSH and BMI percentiles (r=0.283, P value <0.001). The percentage of hypothyroid children who were chemically euthyroid with healthy BMI percentiles in TSH group T1 was 40.5%, while 29.8% in both TSH group T2 and TSH group T3 respectively. The percentage of hypothyroid children with obesity was 18.1% in TSH group T1 and 60.5% in TSH group T3. Pearson’s χ2 P value=0.013.

Conclusion: In hypothyroid children who are chemically euthyroid, there is a positive correlation between higher TSH levels (within the normal range) and elevated BMI percentiles. Our results indicate that keeping the TSH levels into the lower third (0.34–1.5 mIU/l) of the normal range may result in a healthier BMI.

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