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31.03.2021 | original article

Relationship of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels with atherosclerosis in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
MD Ass. Prof. Gulsum Gonulalan, MD Yusuf Tanrıkulu
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Subclinical hypothyroidism is related with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The decreased levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) are associated with hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis and obesity. The lower levels of DHEA‑S might be an important factor in development of atherosclerosis in subclinical hypothyroidism.


A total of 126 patients (62 with subclinical hypothyroidism and 64 healthy individuals) were included in this prospectively designed study between January 2017 and December 2019. All individuals were evaluated according to DHEA‑S levels, carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and anthropometric measurements. Blood samples were obtained from patients after 8 h fasting. The groups were statistically compared.


The mean ages of control group and patients with subclinical hypothyroidism were 36.9 ± 11.0 years and 39.6 ± 11.0 years, respectively (p = 0.165). The mean waist circumferences in controls and patients were 89 ± 10.7 cm and 91.3 ± 11.1 cm, respectively (p < 0.001). The DHEA‑S levels were 131.04 ± 96.02 µg/dl in patients, and these levels were significantly decreased in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (p = 0.024). The levels of DHEA‑S were found to be negatively correlated with CIMT (p < 0.001, c = 0.406).


The early detection of cardiac and metabolic dysfunctions in subclinical hypothyroidism is important to avoid complications. We found a negative correlation between DHEA‑S levels and metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors in subclinical hypothyroidism. We believe that our results would attract more attention to the studies investigating relationships between DHEA‑S levels and cardiovascular complications of subclinical hypothyroidism.

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