Introduction: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1) is frequently associated with other autoimmune diseases. Among children and adolescents, thyroid disease is the most common autoimmune endocrinopathy. The possibility of occult thyroid disease should be considered at diagnosis and when a patient is assessed at the annual review.
Objective: The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, followed in our hospital, during one year.
Material and methods: We reviewed the medical records of 66 diabetic patients. The following parameters were analysed: gender, age, age at diagnosis, duration of DM1, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO Ab), antithyroglobulin antibodies (Tg Ab), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4).
Results: The study included 66 patients, 47% were girls and 53% boys. Mean age 12.9±3.8 years (max: 19; min:4). The mean age at diagnosis was 7.9±4 years and the mean diseases duration was 5±3.2 years. HbA1c levels averaged 9.5±1.8%. Eleven children had positive antithyroid antibodies (17%): 11 were positive for Tg Ab, 7 for TPO Ab. Among children with positive antithyroid antibodies, 4 were in euthyroidism, 7 in hypothyroidism, subclinical in 3 and clinical in 4 patients.
Comments: Our data shows indeed the great prevalence for thyroid disease in DM, with 6% of our type 1 diabetic children with hypothyroidism (in the literature, approximately 3.9%). This emphasizes the need to evaluate the thyroid function in diabetic children.