Introduction: Patients with hypothyroidism usually gain weight, and those with hyperthyroidism lose weight. Body weight changes related with thyroid dysfunction support the idea that thyroid hormones have an effect on body weight and body composition. The aim of our study was to describe the clinical profile and body composition of Tunisian patients who were newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional and descriptive study includes 25 patients: 14 who were newly diagnosed with overt hypothyroidism (Group1: G1) and 11 who were newly diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism (Group 2: G2). The study was conducted in the Endocrinology and Nutrition Department of the Military Hospital of Tunis during a period of 4 months (March-June 2021). Body composition was assessed by impedancemetry. Statistics were performed using SPSS 20.
Results: The mean age was 49 ± 14 years [20-80 years]. A female predominance was noted (75%). The median TSH level was 20 mUI/l [8-95 mUI/l]. Cervical ultrasound showed that 25% of patients had thyroid nodules. Anti-Thyroid Peroxydase antibodies were positive in 35% of patients. The mean Body Mass Index was 29 ± 5 kg/m2. One third of the patients (35%) were obese. The median weight gain at time of diagnosis of the hypothyroidism was 0.6 kg [0,4-4,2 kg]; (G1: 1,5 kg vs G2: 0,5 kg; P=0,6). Mean percentages of fat mass (FM), lean mass (LM) and water mass (WM) in both groups were respectively (G1: 30 ±9% vs G2: 35±8%; P=0,26), (G1: 70±9% vs G2: 65±8%; P=0,26) and (G1:51±7% vs G2:47±6%; P=0,26). The mean total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both groups were respectively (G1:6±2 mmol/l vs G2: 5±1 mmol/l, P=0,2), (G1 3±2 mmol/l vs G2: 3 ±0,7 mmol/l; P=0,75) and (G1: 1,7±0,7 mmol/l vs 1,7±1,1 mmol/l, P=0,867). Our study showed that increased TSH levels were associated with increased percentages of LM and WM (respectively P=0,01 and P=0,01) and decreased percentages of FM (P= 0,02). However, there was no correlation between TSH level and weight gain at time of diagnosis of the hypothyroidism (P=0,71).
Conclusion: Our study showed that patients newly diagnosed with overt or subclinical hypothyroidism gained weight. The percentages of different body compartments were correlated with TSH level. However, there was not an association between gain weight and TSH level at time of diagnosis of the hypothyroidism.
21 May 2022 - 24 May 2022