Objective: The cardiovascular system is a known target for thyroid hormone. Early-life cardiovascular alterations may lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Little is known about the effects of thyroid hormone on cardiovascular function during childhood, including the role of body composition in this association. Design: Population-based prospective cohort of children (n = 4251, median age 6 years, 95% range: 5.7-8.0 years). Methods: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) concentrations were measured to assess thyroid function. Left ventricular (LV) mass was assessed with echocardiography. Arterial stiffness was assessed with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) was measured. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan. Results: FT4 was inversely associated with LV mass (P = 0.002), and with lean body mass (P < 0.0001). The association of FT4 with LV mass was partially mediated through variability in lean body mass (55% mediated effect). TSH was inversely associated with LV mass (P = 0.010), predominantly in boys. TSH was positively associated with systolic and diastolic BP (both P < 0.001). FT4 was positively associated with CFPWV and diastolic BP (P < 0.0001, P = 0.008, respectively), and the latter association attenuated after adjustment for CFPWV. Conclusions: At the age of 6 years, higher FT4 is associated with lower LV mass (partially through effects on lean body mass) and with higher arterial stiffness, which may lead to higher BP. Our data also suggest different mechanisms via which TSH and FT4 are associated with cardiovascular function during early childhood.

doi.org/10.1530/EJE-17-0369, hdl.handle.net/1765/102013
European Journal of Endocrinology
Generation R Study Group

Barjaktarovic, M. (Mirjana), Korevaar, T., Gaillard, R., de Rijke, Y., Visser, T., Jaddoe, V., & Peeters, R. (2017). Childhood thyroid function, body composition and cardiovascular function. European Journal of Endocrinology, 177(4), 319–327. doi:10.1530/EJE-17-0369