BACKGROUND: Population-based studies investigating the sex-specific association between thyrotropin (TSH) levels and serum lipid concentrations are scarce. We examined the association between TSH and total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides in men and women from the general population. Furthermore, the association with TSH outside and within the reference range and lipid levels was studied. METHODS: Individual data of 13,571 men and women without lipid medication of four population-based studies conducted in Western European adults were pooled for cross-sectional analyses. The association between TSH levels and lipid concentrations were analyzed by calculating sex-specific multivariable median regression models. RESULTS: In the pooled population, serum TSH levels were significantly positively associated with triglyceride values in men and with total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride values in women. In the pooled male population, low serum TSH levels (<3.0 mIU/L) were significantly associated with lower total cholesterol, while high serum TSH levels (≥ 3.0 mIU/L) were associated with higher triglyceride values. In the pooled female population, low serum TSH levels were significantly associated with lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. High TSH levels were associated with higher total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the pooled female population. In both sexes, serum TSH levels within the reference range (0.3-3.0 mIU/L) were significantly positively associated with triglyceride concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing levels of TSH were associated with a less favorable lipid profile in both men and women from the general population. In both sexes, TSH levels within the reference range were significantly positively associated with triglyceride concentrations.
Thyroid, 2014, Vol 24, Issue 3, p. 424-432
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cross-Sectional Studies; European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Humans; Lipids; Male; Middle Aged; Reference Values; Thyrotropin; Young Adult