Subclinical hypothyroidism may be independently associated with diabetic nephropathy in patients with diabetes, according to a Japanese study.

Shinya Furukawa, MD, PhD, of Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine in Ehime, and collaborators studied 414 patients with type 2 diabetes and no history of thyroid disease. 

Investigators measured serum thyroid hormone levels and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio. They defined subclinical hypothyroidism as an elevated level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and diabetic nephropathy as creatinine levels of 300 mg/g or higher. 

Of the 414 patients, 36 (8.7%) had subclinical hypothyroidism. The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy was significantly greater in the subclinical hypothyroidism group than the euthyroid group (16.7% vs. 6.1%).

On multivariate analysis, subclinical hypothyroidism was associated with a 3.5 times increased odds of diabetic nephropathy and a 4.6 times increased odds of hypertension, the researchers reported online ahead of print in the Endocrine Journal

Subclinical hypothyroidism was not independently associated with chronic kidney disease.

“These findings imply that subclinical hypothyroidism may be a new therapeutic target to prevent the development and progression of renal disease in diabetes patients,” the authors concluded. “Thyroid function screening should be offered to diabetes patients with diabetic nephropathy.”

Reference

  1. Furukawa S et al. Endocr J. 2014;doi:10.1507/endocrj.EJ14-0206.

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News