JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Changes in thyroid function in Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian Israeli patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Endocrine Practice 2012 November
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or its treatment is a risk factor for thyroid dysfunction and whether thyroid function changes over time in 2 distinct subpopulations with HIV or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Israel: Ethiopian immigrants and Israeli patients.

METHODS: Serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine levels were determined in HIV carriers undergoing follow-up at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center HIV clinic in Jerusalem, Israel, and these thyroid measurements were correlated with clinical and laboratory variables pertaining to their disease, including disease duration, drug therapy, viral load, CD4 count, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and creatine kinase. Serum samples stored at -20°C from the time of referral were tested as well.

RESULTS: We recruited 121 consecutive patients with HIV or AIDS for this study: 60 Ethiopians and 61 Israeli patients. Of the 121 patients, 4 (3%) had abnormal thyroid function-subclinical hypothyroidism in 2, overt hypothyroidism in 1, and overt hyperthyroidism in 1. Previously stored serum samples were available for 60 of the 121 patients and revealed 2 additional patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, whose TSH has normalized in the subsequent test. Throughout the follow-up period of 3.2 ± 1.9 years, the mean TSH level remained unchanged in the Israeli cohort but significantly declined in the Ethiopian cohort.

CONCLUSION: Thyroid function abnormalities were uncommon in these Israeli patients with HIV or AIDS. This finding does not support the need for routine thyroid function tests in this patient population. The decline in TSH level in the Ethiopian population over time probably represents a shift from an iodine-deficient to an iodine-sufficient country.

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