Basal and longitudinal changes in serum levels of TSH in morbid obese patients experiencing failure or success of dietary treatment

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PURPOSE: The relationship between thyroid function and obesity is a widely investigated one. The impact of thyroid hormones in determining the outcome of dietary/lifestyle interventions remains to be fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to compare basal and post dietary-intervention circulating thyroid-function parameters, lipid profile and fasting-glucose in euthyroid obese patients according to a success or failure of a dietary intervention program.

METHODS: In a retrospective longitudinal case-control study we enrolled 50 euthyroid obese patients who experienced a success in dietary intervention, as defined by a BMI reduction of at least 5% from baseline (Success Group) and 50 sex and age-matched euthyroid obese patients who experienced failure in dietary intervention as defined by either stable or increased body weight throughout the follow-up (Failure Group). Serum thyroid function parameters and metabolic profile at baseline and at the end of follow-up were collected.

RESULTS: At baseline, the two groups showed similar BMI, total-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and fasting-blood-glucose, but patients in Success Group had a significantly higher TSH as compared with Failure Group (2.20 ± 0.97 vs 1.66 ± 0.73, respectively, p < 0.001). Throughout a mean follow-up of 21.4 months TSH significantly decreased in Success Group (2.20 ± 0.97 vs 2.06 ± 0.98; p = 0.029) and increased in Failure Group (1.63 ± 0.72 vs 2.01 ± 0.99; p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis showed that the outcome of the dietary intervention was significantly and independently related to baseline BMI (0.925; 0.861-0.993), age (0.957; 0.922-0.993), TSH (0.531; 0.290-0.973) and TSH-changes (1.011; 1.000-1.022) during follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Baseline serum TSH level is related to the final outcome of a dietary intervention program in obese patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE III: Evidence obtained from a retrospective cohort or case-control analytic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1949-1955
Number of pages7
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Lipids
  • Obesity, Morbid
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyrotropin


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