DOI: 10.1097/md.0000000000037350 ISSN: 0025-7974

Associations among thyroid hormone levels and mean corpuscular volume in adults in the US: A cross-sectional examination of the NHANES 2007–2012 dataset

Mingzheng Wang, Xiaofeng Lu, Xiaogang Zheng, Xiaotao Zhu, Junru Liu
  • General Medicine

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is an important indicator used to determine the etiology of anemia and is associated with a variety of diseases. However, the link between thyroid function and MCV has yet to be clarified. This study was thus developed to assess relationships between thyroid function and MCV in a population of adults in the US. Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study performed from 2007 to 2012 were used to conduct a cross-sectional analysis. Key thyroid-related variables included in this analysis were thyroid-stimulating hormone, total thyroxine (TT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), total triiodothyronine (TT3), free thyroxine (FT4), antithyroglobulin, thyroglobulin, and antithyroid peroxidase levels. Generalized linear regression models were employed when estimating associations between MCV quartiles and thyroid parameters in 8104 adults 18 + years of age. In these participants, the weighted mean (SD) MCV was 89.36 (0.16) fL, with thyroid-stimulating hormone levels of 1.86 (0.03) mIU/mL, FT3 levels of 3.20 (0.01) pg/mL, FT4 levels of 0.80 (0.01) ng/dL, TT3 levels of 115.09 (0.64) ng/dL, and TT4 levels of 7.81 (0.04) μg/dL. When analyses were not adjusted, higher MCV values were related to reduced serum levels of FT3, TT3, or TT4. Following adjustment for possible confounding variables, this significant negative correlation between MCV and levels of FT3, TT3, and TT4 remained, and subgroup analysis revealed that this negative correlation was present in the male group and in the age group >50 years, but not in the female group and in the age group less than or equal to 50 years. These results suggest a significant negative correlation between MCV and FT3, TT3, and TT4, and this negative correlation originated more from the male population and those older than 50 years of age. The underlying mechanisms warrant additional investigation.

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