European journal of endocrinology

Associations between thyroid hormone levels and regional fat accumulation in euthyroid men.

PMID 23513229


Body adiposity, especially ectopic fat accumulation, has a range of metabolic and cardiovascular effects. This study aimed to investigate whether thyroid function is associated with various regional fat quantities in euthyroid subjects. A total of 100 euthyroid men (free triiodothyronine (fT3), 4.77±1.21 pg/ml; free thyroxine (fT4), 1.38±0.21 ng/dl; and TSH, 2.09±0.91 μIU/ml) were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. We measured accumulated regional fat using 64-slice multi-detector computed tomography. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to determine whether accumulated fat in each region was associated with clinical parameters after adjusting for age. FT3 was inversely correlated with BMI (R=0.232, P=0.029) and LDL cholesterol level (R=0.277, P=0.019). FT4 was inversely correlated with waist circumference (R=0.350, P=0.008) and BMI (R=0.355, P0.001). In multiple linear regression analysis, fT3 and fT4 levels were significantly associated with pericardial fat volume (fT3: B=-0.079, 95% CI -0.142 to -0.017, P=0.013; fT4: B=-0.411, 95% CI -0.780 to -0.042, P=0.030) in euthyroid men, independent of age. FT3 level was inversely associated with intramuscular fat area (B=-0.059, 95% CI -0.106 to -0.011, P=0.016) and hepatic fat quantity (B=-0.237, 95% CI -0.441 to -0.033, P=0.024) in euthyroid men, independent of age. In euthyroid men, low levels of fT3 and fT4 were significantly associated with increased pericardial fat volume and BMI.