Thyroxine is essential for nervous system development. Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH), also known as mild thyroid failure, is associated with impaired cognitive function in children and mood disorders in adults. Serotonin is also involved in brain development as well as in mood and behavior modulation. The possible interaction between thyroid function tests, serum serotonin concentrations, and emotional intelligence (EI) was studied.
A total of 224 schoolchildren from the Peloponnese, Greece, aged 11–19, were included in the study, of whom 26.3% had SCH. Emotional quotients (EQ), such as well-being, self-control, emotionality, and sociability, were assessed using the TEIQue-ASF questionnaire, and TSH, fT4, and serum serotonin concentrations were also evaluated.
Children and adolescents with SCH had a lower EQ total score (p < 0.001), EQ well-being score (p = 0.025), EQ self-control score (p = 0.029), EQ emotionality score (p = 0.029), and EQ sociability score (p = 0.010) and lower serum serotonin concentrations (p < 0.001).
Children and adolescents with SCH exhibited lower EI scores and lower serum serotonin concentrations when compared with age-matched healthy controls.
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Data availability statement
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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We would like to thank all the respondents who dedicated their time to participate in this survey.
The study was in accordance to the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) and was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Greece. No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
Conflict of interest
George Κ Arianas, Eirini Kostopoulou, Anastasios Ioannidis, Ioannis Dimopoulos, Christos Chiotis, Panagiotis Prezerakos, Bessie E. Spiliotis, and Andrea Paola Rojas Gil have no conflict of interest to disclose.
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Arianas, G.Κ., Kostopoulou, E., Ioannidis, A. et al. Emotional intelligence scores in children and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism—correlation with serum serotonin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations. Hormones (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-021-00320-3
- Subclinical hypothyroidism
- Emotional intelligence