Background: Except from associations study with body weight, there are few longitudinal data regarding the association between thyroid function and anthropometric measurements such as waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, or waist-to height ratio. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association of thyrotropin (TSH) at baseline with changes in different anthropometric markers between baseline and follow-up in the general population. Method: Data were used from four population-based longitudinal cohort studies and one population-based cross-sectional study. A total of 16,902 (8204 males) subjects aged 20-95 years from the general population were studied. Body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were measured. Multivariable median regression models were calculated adjusting for the following covariates: age, sex, baseline value of the respective anthropometric marker, smoking status, follow-up-time period, and study site. Results: In cross-sectional analyses, serum TSH within the reference range was positively associated with waist circumference (β = 0.94 cm [confidence interval (CI) 0.56-1.32]) and waist-to-height-ratio (β = 0.029 [CI 0.017-0.042]). These associations were also present for the full range of TSH. In the longitudinal analyses, serum TSH at baseline was inversely associated with a five-year change of all considered anthropometric measures within the prior defined study-specific reference range, as well as in the full range of serum TSH. Conclusion: High TSH serum levels were positively associated with current anthropometric markers, even in the study-specific reference ranges. In contrast, high TSH serum levels were associated with decreased anthropometric markers over a time span of approximately five years. Further research is needed to determine possible clinical implications as well as public health consequences of these findings.

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Journal Thyroid
Tiller, D, Ittermann, T, Greiser, K.H, Meisinger, C, Agger, C, Hofman, A, … Haerting, J. (2016). Association of Serum Thyrotropin with Anthropometric Markers of Obesity in the General Population. In Thyroid (Vol. 26, pp. 1205–1214). doi:10.1089/thy.2015.0410