This series of meta-analyses were aimed to elucidate the impact of hypothyroidism on low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidative stress assessed by C-reactive protein (CRP) and malondialdehyde (MDA) respectively; and to evaluate the effect of levothyroxine replacement therapy (LRT) on those outcomes.
PubMed database and the key studies references were searched prior to March 3, 2020. Data on serum or plasma CRP and MDA levels in SHT (subclinical) and/or OHT (overt) hypothyroid patients and controls were extracted to compute overall standardized mean differences (SMD) by the random-effects model.
A total of 93 studies were entered into analyses and ten main meta-analyses were performed. OHT (SMD = 0.72 [0.39; 1.04], k = 35), SHT (SMD = 1.58 [0.78; 2.38], k = 56) and even mild SHT (TSH < 10 mU/L, SMD = 2.19 [0.02; 4.37], k = 13) proved to have a detrimental effect on CRP levels. LRT showed a favorable effect on CRP levels, particularly in OHT (SMD = −0.30 [−0.57; −0.02], k = 17). Increased levels of MDA were also found, especially in OHT (SMD = 2.49 [0.66; 4.31], k = 13). LRT may also improve MDA levels; however future studies would further validate the advantageous effect of LRT in hypothyroidism. Heterogeneity primarily originated from different study designs and geographic locations.
Overall, these meta-analyses reveal that screening for hs-CRP and MDA in hypothyroid patients as simple biomarkers of low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidative stress may become a useful tool to identify those at increased risk who may benefit most from early interventions.
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Analyses were executed in R versión 3.6.3 by using meta, metafor and dmetar R packages. Scrips are available under request.
levothyroxine replacement therapy
standardized mean difference
thyrotropin or thyroid-stimulating hormone
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M.L.T. is member of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).
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Tellechea, M.L. Meta-analytic evidence for increased low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in hypothyroid patients. Can levothyroxine replacement therapy mitigate the burden?. Endocrine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12020-020-02484-1
- Low-grade inflammation
- Oxidative stress
- C-reactive protein