pp 1–8 | Cite as

Relationship between metabolic syndrome and thyroid nodules and thyroid volume in an adult population

  • Wenxing Guo
  • Long Tan
  • Wen Chen
  • Lili Fan
  • Yanting Chen
  • Cong Du
  • Mei Zhu
  • Hongyan Wei
  • Wei Wang
  • Min Gao
  • Tingkai Cui
  • Jun Shen
  • Wanqi ZhangEmail author
Original Article



The effects of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on thyroid nodules (TN) and thyroid volume (TV), especially the related gender and age disparities, are controversial. In this study, we aimed to assess the relationships between MetS and TN and TV in an adult population.


This cross-sectional study was performed in an adult population in Tianjin. A total of 2606 subjects were enrolled. TV and TN were measured by thyroid ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected to measure biochemical and metabolic parameters.


The prevalence of TN was significantly higher in the MetS (+) group than in the MetS (−) group (P < 0.0001). MetS was independently associated with increased TN risk (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.01–1.51). When stratified by gender, MetS was associated with higher prevalence of TN in males (OR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.05–1.81) compared with females (OR: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.75–1.39). However, the interaction effect of gender and MetS on TN was not statistically significant (P for interaction = 0.94). MetS was associated with the greater risks of TN in both the <60-year-old group (OR: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.05–1.68) and the ≥60-year-old group (OR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.24–2.73), while the OR value was significantly higher in the elderly group (P for interaction = 0.03). Additionally, TV was significantly higher in subjects with TN (β = 1.94, P < 0.0001) and MetS (β = 0.94, P = 0.0037).


This study suggested positive relationships between MetS and an increased risk of TN and enlarged TV. Elderly people (≥60 years old) with MetS were associated with a higher risk of TN than younger people (<60 years old). The effect of MetS on TN was not significantly affected by gender.


Metabolic syndrome Thyroid nodules Thyroid volume Gender Age 



We gratefully acknowledge all the participants in this study along with Tianjin Medical University General Hospital for their assistance in collecting and examining the biochemical samples. We also thank the teachers and participating students for their cooperation and participation.


This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no.: 81330064), Tianjin Education Committee Social Science Major Project (Grant no.: 2017JWZD35), and Tianjin Science and Technology Committee Project Foundation(Grant no.: 14ZCZDSY00022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food HygieneSchool of Public Health, Tianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology and MetabolismTianjin Medical University General HospitalTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of Sanitary Chemistry, School of Public HealthTianjin Medical UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.Tianjin Key Laboratory of EnvironmentNutrition and Public HealthTianjinChina
  5. 5.Tianjin Center for International Collaborative Research in EnvironmentNutrition and Public HealthTianjinChina

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