Thyroid hormones are important in the regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Both of these are affected in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
It is unknown whether thyroid dysfunction plays a role in the pathogenesis of NASH.
In this study, researchers from the United States evaluated the association between hypothyroidism and NASH.
The team included 174 patients with well-documented NASH, who attended hepatology clinics at Indiana University Hospital, between 1995 and 2000.
- NASH = 15%
- controls = 7%
|Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology|
Patients were matched with regard to age, gender, race, and body-weight to 442 individuals seen during the same period in the general medical clinics.
Patients with a previous diagnosis of hypothyroidism and on synthetic T4 replacement were considered to be "hypothyroid".
The researchers found that the prevalence of hypothyroidism in patients with NASH was 15%, compared with 7% in the controls.
Furthermore, multivariate analysis confirmed that the prevalence of hypothyroidism in the NASH group was significantly higher than in control group (OR 2.3).
Drs Suthat Liangpunsakul and Naga Chalasani concluded, "These data suggest that hypothyroidism is associated with human NASH".
"Further research is needed to confirm this finding and to understand its implications".