Diabetic Nephropathy Linked to Hypothyroidism

Researchers find an independent association in a study of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers find an independent association in a study of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) may be independently associated with diabetic nephropathy in patients with diabetes mellitus, according to a Japanese study.

Shinya Furukawa, MD, PhD, of Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine in Ehime, and collaborators studied 414 patients with type 2 diabetes and no history of thyroid disease. Investigators measured serum thyroid hormone levels and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio. They defined SCH as an elevated level of thyroid-stimulating hormone and diabetic nephropathy as creatinine levels of 300 mg/g or higher. Of the 414 patients, 36 (8.7%) had SCH. The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy was significantly greater in the SCH than the euthyroid group (16.7% vs. 6.1%).

On multivariate analysis, SCH was associated with a 3.5 times increased odds of diabetic nephropathy and a 4.6 times increased odds of hypertension, the researchers reported online ahead of print in the Endocrine Journal. SCH was not independently associated with chronic kidney disease.

“These findings imply that SCH may be a new therapeutic target to prevent the development and progression of renal disease in diabetes patients,” the authors concluded. “Thyroid function screening should be offered to diabetes patients with diabetic nephropathy.”

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