Prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome
Hypothyroidism is associated with pregnancy complications both for the mother and progeny and it should be considered in reproductive age. Thyroid autoimmunity is stated to be the main cause of hypothyroidism in iodine sufficient areas. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is known as the most common endocrine disorder affecting women in reproductive age. Early diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism in PCOS may reduce the rate of infertility and pregnancy-related morbidity. In the present study we evaluated thyroid autoimmunity in PCOS patients.
Over a period of 12 months, 78 patients with PCOS were recruited to this case–control study. Three hundred and fifty age-matched women were studied as a control group. PCOS was defined according to the revised 2003 Rotterdam criteria. Thyroid size was estimated by inspection and palpation. Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), anti-thyroperoxidase antibody (anti-TPO Ab), and anti-thyroglobulin antibody (anti-Tg Ab) were measured.
The mean ± SD of serum anti-TPO Ab in PCOS patients and subjects in the control group was 216 ± 428 and 131 ± 364 IU/mL, respectively (P = 0.04). Prevalence of goiter in PCOS patients was higher than that in control subjects (62.3 vs. 35.7%, P = 0.0001). Serum TSH and anti-Tg Ab in PCOS patients and control subjects did not differ significantly.
In this case–control study, anti-thyroid antibodies and goiter prevalence were significantly higher in PCOS patients. These data suggest that thyroid exam and evaluation of thyroid function and autoimmunity should be considered in such patients.