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Association between the triglyceride-glucose index and thyroid disorders: a cross-sectional survey and Mendelian randomization analysis.

Endocrine 2024 May 24
BACKGROUND: Metabolic diseases are associated with thyroid disorders. Insulin resistance is the common pathological basis of metabolic diseases. We explored the relationship between the triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index, a simple insulin-resistance marker, and thyroid disorders.

METHODS: Eligible TIDE (Thyroid Diseases, Iodine Status and Diabetes Epidemiology) subjects (n = 47,710) were screened with inclusion/exclusion criteria. Thyroid disorder prevalence among different TyG index groups was stratified by sex. Logistic regression evaluated the correlation between the TyG index and thyroid disorders. Multiple linear regression evaluated the association between the TyG index and TSH. Additionally, two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) using published genome-wide association study data evaluated causality in the association between the TyG index and TSH.

RESULTS: Men and women with greater TyG indices had a significantly greater prevalence of thyroid disorders than individuals with the lowest quartile (Q1) of TyG index (p < 0.05). Following adjustment for confounding factors, we observed that a greater TyG index significantly increased the risk of subclinical hypothyroidism in men and women (men: Q2: odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 1.22 [1.07-1.38], p = 0.002; Q3: OR [95% CI] = 1.28 [1.12-1.45], p < 0.001; Q4: OR [95% CI] = 1.29 [1.12-1.50], p = 0.001; women: Q2: OR [95% CI] = 1.25 [1.12-1.39], p < 0.001; Q3: OR [95% CI] = 1.47 [1.31-1.64], p < 0.001; Q4: OR [95% CI] = 1.61 [1.43-1.82], p < 0.001). Only among women was the highest TyG index quartile associated with hypothyroidism (OR [95% CI] = 1.70 [1.15-2.50], p = 0.007). Additionally, in men, the association exists only in the more than adequate iodine intake population. In women, the relationship between the TyG index and thyroid disorders disappears after menopause. Furthermore, the TyG index exhibited a linear positive correlation with TSH levels. The MR analysis results revealed a causal relationship between a genetically determined greater TyG index and increased TSH (inverse-variance weighting (IVW): OR [95% CI] = 1.14 [1.02-1.28], p = 0.020); however, this causal relationship disappeared after adjusting for BMI in multivariable MR (MVMR) analysis (MVMR-IVW: OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.87-1.22, p = 0.739).

CONCLUSIONS: A greater TyG index is associated with hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism and varies by sex and menopausal status. MR analysis demonstrated that the causal relationship between a genetically determined greater TyG index and elevated TSH levels is confounded or mediated by BMI.

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