25 hydroxyvitamin D deficiency and its relationship to autoimmune thyroid disease in the elderly

G. Muscogiuri, Daniela Mari, Silvia Prolo, L. M. Fatti, Maria Celeste Cantone, Paolo Garagnani, Beatrice Arosio, Carolina Di Somma, Giovanni Vitale

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Background: Low 25(OH) vitamin D levels have been associated with several autoimmune diseases and recently with autoimmune thyroiditis (AT). The aim of the study was to investigate the association of AT with low 25(OH) vitamin D levels in the elderly. Methods: One hundred sixty-eight elderly subjects (mean age: 81.6 ± 9.4 years) were enrolled. Serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D, anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO-Ab), anti-thyroglobulin (TG-Ab) antibodies, free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured. Results: The prevalence of AT was significantly higher in subjects with vitamin D deficiency (25(OH) vitamin D < 20 ng/mL) when compared with subjects with normal 25(OH) vitamin D (25(OH) vitamin D ≥ 20 ng/mL) levels (28% vs. 8%, respectively, p = 0.002). Patients with AT and vitamin D deficiency had a comparable hormonal profile compared to patients with AT and vitamin D sufficiency in terms of TSH (p = 0.39), FT3 (p = 0.30), FT4 (p = 0.31), TG-Ab (0.44) and TPO-Ab (0.35). Interestingly, a significant correlation between 25(OH) vitamin D and TPO-Ab (r = −0.27, p = 0.03) and FT3 (r = 0.35, p = 0.006) has been found in subjects with AT while no correlation was found between 25(OH) vitamin D levels and TG-Ab (r = −0.15, p = 0.25), TSH (r = −0.014, p = 0.09) and FT4 (r = 0.13, p = 0.32). Conclusions: These findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with AT in the elderly. Therefore, the screening for AT should be suggested in subjects with vitamin D deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number850
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Elderly
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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