, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 608–615 | Cite as

Evaluation of the relationship of subclinical hypothyroidism with metabolic syndrome and its components in adolescents: a population-based study

  • Min-Kyung Lee
  • Yoo Mee Kim
  • Seo-Young Sohn
  • Jae-Hyuk Lee
  • Young Jun Won
  • Se Hwa KimEmail author
Original Article



This study investigated the association of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in adolescents.


The study population included 1006 adolescents (aged 10–18 years) from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys; SCH subjects were compared with euthyroid subjects. MetS was defined using the International Diabetes Federation criteria. The risks of MetS and its components in SCH and euthyroid subjects were calculated using binary logistic regression analyses.


Study subjects had a mean age of 14.2 ± 2.5 years, and 53% were male. The prevalence of MetS was 2.5% in the overall study population (3.2% of males and 1.7% of females). Among the 1006 subjects, 143 (14.2%) had SCH. The risk of MetS was not higher in SCH subjects than in euthyroid subjects (odds ratio [OR], 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54–4.11); however, among the components of MetS, the risk of abdominal obesity was higher in SCH subjects than in euthyroid subjects (OR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.04–4.15) after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Although not statistically significant, a trend toward increased risk of elevated blood pressure (BP) was observed in SCH subjects relative to euthyroid subjects after further adjusting for age, sex, and BMI (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 0.89–4.52). Furthermore, non-obese SCH subjects had higher systolic BP compared with non-obese euthyroid subjects after adjusting for age, sex, and BMI (P = 0.014).


SCH was not associated with the presence of MetS. However, SCH may be associated with abdominal obesity and possibly elevated BP in adolescents.


Cardiovascular disease · Metabolic syndrome · Abdominal obesity · Elevated blood pressure · Subclinical hypothyroidism · Adolescents 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

All studies involving human participants were approved by the institutional review committee, and were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants signed written informed consent, and the Institutional Review Boards of the Korea National Health Insurance Service, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, and International St. Mary’s Hospital approved the study protocol.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Myongji HospitalHanyang University College of MedicineGyeonggi-doRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineCatholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, International St. Mary’s HospitalIncheonRepublic of Korea

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