New studies have shown that smoking may protect against the development of thyroid peroxidase antibodies, which may result in a decreased risk of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (HH), whereas it stimulates the development of Graves’ hyperthyroidism (GH). According to the above-mentioned hypothesis, to stop smoking would decrease the risk of GH but increase the risk of HH. Also, smoking has been identified as one of the risk factors for the development or worsening of eye changes after 131I treatment of GH. Additionally, the outcome of medical treatment of Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO) is less favourable in smokers as compared to non-smokers. There is concern also about the effect of passive smoking on autoimmune thyroid disease. In a recent study it has been shown that the latter may have a deleterious effect on childhood GO.
Gerasimos E Krassas and Wilmar Wiersinga
Gerasimos E Krassas, Nikolaos Pontikides, Kostas Loustis, Georgios Koliakos, Theodoros Constantinidis and Dimitrios Panidis
Background: Resistin is a recently discovered peptide hormone that belongs to a family of tissue-specific resistin-like molecules. To date, very few studies have reported on resistin concentrations in hyperthyroid patients, and they present controversial results.
Objectives: To undertake a controlled, prospective study to investigate resistin concentrations in hyperthyroidism before and after restoration of euthyroidism and to correlate the results with body weight, body fat, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI).
Patients and Methods: A total of 43 hyperthyroid patients (12 men and 31 women) were investigated, in addition to 23 controls. Anthropometric parameters and resistin concentrations were measured. All the patients commenced taking antithyroid drugs and 3–4 months later the same investigations were performed in 36 of the 43 individuals.
Results: Hyperthyroid patients exhibited increased resistin concentrations in comparison with controls. Normalization of thyroid hormones was accompanied by a significant decrease in resistin concentration. A sex difference was also found, men showing a significant decrease in resistin concentrations, whereas in women no such difference was found. Resistin concentrations did not correlate with different anthropometric parameters, age and thyroid hormones, either before or after treatment.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates for the first time that, although resistin concentrations are increased in hyperthyroidism, they are not associated with body weight, body fat, waist circumference or BMI, which makes it unlikely that resistin plays a crucial part in thermogenesis and energy homeostasis in thyrotoxic patients.
Gerasimos E Krassas, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Nikolaos Pontikides, Hadas Lewy and Zvi Laron
Objective: We aimed to test the viral hypothesis in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD).
Design: We determined the pattern of month of birth (MOB) distribution in patients with AITD and in the general population and searched for differences between them.
Methods: A total of 1023 patients were included in this study; 359 patients had Graves’ hyperthyroidism (GrH) and 664 had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (HH). We divided the patients with HH into three subgroups according to their thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody titers at diagnosis: low levels (<500 IU/ml), high levels (500–1000 IU/ml), and extremely high levels (>1000 IU/ml). We used cosinor analysis to analyze the data.
Results: Overall, patients with GrH and HH had a different pattern of MOB distribution when compared with the general population and between groups. Furthermore, among both patients with GrH and HH, both genders had a different pattern of MOB distribution when compared with the general population and this pattern was also different between genders. Finally, only women with extremely high titers of TPO antibodies at diagnosis and men with low or extremely high TPO antibody levels showed rhythmicity in MOB, with a pattern of MOB distribution different from that in controls.
Conclusions: The different MOB seasonality in both GrH and HH points towards a similar maybe even common etiology with type 1 diabetes mellitus and multiple sclerosis, namely a seasonal viral infection as the initial trigger in the perinatal period, the clinical disease resulting from further specific damage over time.