J Diabetes. 2022 Sep 16. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.13315. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In the euthyroid state, the risk of developing diabetes according to changes in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels remains controversial. Additionally, the correlation of various body indices affecting blood glucose levels according to changes in TSH levels over a certain period is not well known.
METHODS: Patients who underwent health check-ups twice at a 2 year interval at a tertiary university hospital between 2009 and 2018 were included. By dividing baseline TSH levels into quartiles (TSH_Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4), various variables were compared, and their changes after 2 years (∆TSH_Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) were confirmed.
RESULTS: Among 15 557 patients, the incidence of diabetes mellitus after 2 years was 2.4% (377/15 557 patients). There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of diabetes according to TSH_Q (p = 0.243) or ∆TSH_Q (p = 0.131). However, as TSH levels increased, skeletal muscle mass decreased (p < 0.001), and body fat mass and percent body fat significantly increased (p < 0.001). As ∆TSH increased, ∆fasting blood glucose and ∆body mass index also significantly increased (all p < 0.001). The incidence of diabetes decreased significantly as skeletal muscle mass increased (odds ratio 0.734, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Owing to the short study period, it was not possible to prove a statistical relationship between the incidence of diabetes mellitus and TSH levels in the euthyroid state. Significant decreases in skeletal muscle mass and increases in body mass index and body fat mass according to baseline TSH levels were demonstrated. Therefore, a focus on improving physical functions, such as increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat, is required in this case.