Original Article

Obesity and Thyroid Function


  • Ender ÜLGEN
  • Füsun ERDENEN
  • Mustafa BOZ

Received Date: 11.03.2011 Accepted Date: 22.03.2011 İstanbul Med J 2011;12(2):69-71


Obesity is a major health problem, and prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide. Various hormones, cytokines and chemokines secreted by adipose tissue exert important roles and regulation in homeostasis. Obesity affects all systems. Thyroid function is affected by obesity. Resting energy expenditure and adaptive thermogenesis are determined by thyroid hormone. We aimed to investigate the association between obesity and thyroid function.


Anthropomorphic values and thyroid hormone levels were measured in a group of 162 obese patients (21 male, 141 female).


Duration of obesity in patients was 16.6±11.8 years. Anthropomorphic and hormone values were as follows: body mass index (BMI): 39.69±6.06, waist circumference: 112.8±12.72 cm, T4: 1.31±0.19 ng/dl, and thyroidstimulating hormone (TSH): 2.70±2.63 mU/dl. There were 2 hyperthyroid patients and no hypothyroid patient. Elevated TSH levels were confirmed in 23 patients.


Although we found normal serum T3 and T4 values in obese subjects, 15% of patients had slightly high TSH levels. There was a positive correlation between TSH and BMI.

Keywords: Thyroid hormone, obesity