Introduction and Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether autoimmune Hashimotos thyroiditis (HT) increases the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In addition, the relationship between autoimmunity and the following factors was evaluated: Body Mass Index (BMI), body parameters measured by Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA), and metabolic syndrome parameters.
Methods: 43 newly diagnosed euthyroid girls with HT (14.4±2.1 years) were included. The control group consisted of 41 age- and BMI-matched healthy girls. At enrollment, all subjects underwent physical examination including blood pressure, standing height, weight, waist circumference (WC), and hip circumference measurements. The lipid profile, liver function tests, glucose, insulin, high sensitivity C-reactiveprotein (hs-CRP), thyroid functions, and thyroid antibodies were measured. Thyroid and liver ultrasonography (US) were performed and body parameters were measured by BIA.
Results: Grade 1 steatosis was detected by liver US in 3 patients (7%) in the HT group while the control group was completely normal. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of NAFLD (P=0.085). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of anthropometric variables except for systolic and diastolic blood pressures, which were significantly higher in patients even though they were still within the normal range. The median thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) value of the patient group was higher [2.88(0.435.57) μLU/mL] than the control group [1.98 (0.964.24) μLu/mL] (P=0.017). However, once again, these higher values were still within the normal range. There was no statistically significant difference in metabolic parameters (ALT, AST, GGT, cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR) between the two groups. When we compared the BIA parameters between patient and control groups, there was no statistically significant difference (P>0.05). A multivariate logistic regression analysis did not find that the independent variables BMI-SDS, age, waist circumference, hip circumference, TSH, Anti-TPO, anti-Tg antibodies, and systolic blood pressure affect the presence of NAFLD.
Conclusion: In conclusion, our study revealed that HT patients had increased NAFLD compared to the control group, but this difference was not statistically significant. The two groups were considerably homogeneous in terms of thyroid function, metabolic risk factors, and anthropometric variables except for systolic and diastolic blood pressures, which were significantly higher in patients. These observations suggest an atherogenic role of thyroid antibodies. As thyroid autoimmunity increases atherosclerosis via an inflammatory mechanism, it could also have a role in NAFLD development in a similar manner.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology