Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 26 P391

The association between serum TSH levels and hypertension in 12 353 children and adolescents

T Ittermann1,2, M Thamm3, H Wallaschofski1, R Rettig1 & H Völzke1


1University of Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany; 2Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 3Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.


Objective: Although subclinical thyroid dysfunction is associated with cardiac endpoints such as endothelial dysfunction, left ventricular hypertrophy, thickened artery walls or atrial fibrillation, it is currently under debate whether subclinical hyper- or hypothyroidism as well as thyroid function within the reference range are associated with an increased risk of hypertension. So far no study investigated the association between thyroid function and blood pressure in children and adolescents. Thus, we investigated the association between serum TSH levels and hypertension in a large-scale population-based study conducted in children and adolescents aged 3–17 years.

Material and methods: Data from 6528 children and 6134 adolescents of the ‘Studie zur Gesundheit von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Deutschland’ (KiGGS) were analyzed. Two readings of systolic, and diastolic pressure were taken in an upright position after 5 min of rest. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure >120 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure >80 mmHg. Serum TSH levels were measured with the ECLIA method on an Elecsys E2010. Decreased and increased serum TSH levels were defined according to age-specific reference limits for the assay used. Continuous as well as categorized serum TSH levels were associated with hypertension by multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Serum TSH levels were significantly associated with hypertension in adolescents (odds ratio (OR)=1.19; P<0.001) and in children (OR=1.12; P=0.045). Decreased and increased serum TSH levels were not associated with hypertension in adolescents and children.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we demonstrate a weak relationship between serum TSH levels and hypertension in adolescents and children. The conflicting results compared to studies conducted in adults might be related to lower prevalences of thyroid diseases and intake of medication in our population. Furthermore, previous studies might have had not sufficient power to detect a weak association between serum TSH levels and hypertension.

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