University of Oulu

Saltevo, J., Kautiainen, H., Mäntyselkä, P, Jula, A., Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S., Korpi-Hyövälti, E., Niskanen, L., Oksa, H., Saaristo, T., Vanhala, M. (2016) Gender differences in thyroid function and obesity among finnish women and men. The FIN-D2D-study. Integrative endocrinology and metabolism, 1 (1), 1-6. doi:10.15761/IEM.1000002

Gender differences in thyroid function and obesity among finnish women and men : the FIN-D2D-study

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Author: Saltevo, Juha1; Kautiainen, Hannu2,3,4; Mäntyselkä, Pekka4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Medicine, Central Finland Central Hospital
2Unit of Primary Health Care, Helsinki University Central Hospital
3Department of General Practice, University of Helsinki
4Primary Health Care Unit, Kuopio University Hospital
5Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland
6National Institute for Health and Welfare
7Center for Life Course Epidemiology and Systems Medicine, University of Oulu
8Unit of Primary Health Care and MRC, Oulu University Hospital
9Department of Medicine, Seinäjoki Central Hospital
10Department of Endocrinology, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki
11Pirkanmaa Hospital District
12Tampere University Hospital
13Unit of Family Practice, Central Finland Central Hospital
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Open Access Text, 2016
Publish Date: 2018-10-05


Background: Our aim was to study the relationship between thyroid function and body weight in a large Finnish adult population, taking into account the effect of gender, because the results of previous studies are conflicting.

Methods: A random sample of 4500 Finnish subjects aged 45–74 years old was selected from the National Population Register. The participation rate was 64%. Height, weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure were measured. Medications used, current smoking, the use of alcohol, and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) wereas queried. Thyroid values (free T4, free T3, and TSH) were measured in 1307 men and 1434 women. Subjects receiving thyroid hormone (N=92) were excluded.

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 59.7 years and their mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.4 kg/m². After adjustment for age, LTPA, and current smoking, TSH showed no linearity (p=0.09) across increasing BMI; in women TSH ranged from 1.85 ± 1.15 to 2.02 ± 1.29 IU/L and in men, from 1.79 ± 1.19 to 2.04 ± 1.33 IU/L (p=0.13). FT3 -values increased from 3.85 ± 0.67 to 3.97 ± 0.59 pmol/L in women (p=0.004), but not in men, with increasing BMI. FT4 -values decreased from 13.78 ± 2.07 to 13.31 ± 1.91 pmol/L with increasing BMI in men (p<0.001 for linearity), but not in women.

Conclusions: TSH values did not increase along with BMI in men and women with BMI, but FfT3 levels increased in women, and FfT4 levels decreased in men along with increasing BMI. The reasons for these gender differences need further research.

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Series: Integrative endocrinology and metabolism
ISSN: 2515-0928
ISSN-L: 2515-0928
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Pages: 1 - 6
DOI: 10.15761/IEM.1000102
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: FIN-D2D was supported by financing from the hospital districts of Central Finland, Pirkanmaa, Southern Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, the Finnish National Public Health Institute, the Finnish Diabetes Association, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland, and Finland’s Slot Machine Association in cooperation with the FIN-D2D Study Group.
Copyright information: © 2016 Saltevo J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.