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BioScientifica, European Journal of Endocrinology, 6(175), p. 653-660

DOI: 10.1530/eje-16-0537



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The association of thyroid function and the risk of kidney function decline: a population-based cohort study

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Objectives Thyroid dysfunction has been associated with kidney function decline, but mainly in cross-sectional studies. Therefore, we aimed to determine the association between thyroid and kidney function in a prospective population-based cohort study longitudinally. Design Prospective cohort study. Methods Participants aged ≥45 years from the Rotterdam Study with thyroid and kidney function assessment were included. Kidney function and new onset chronic kidney disease (CKD) were defined using estimated glomerular filtration ate (eGFR), with CKD defined as eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 according to the CKD-EPI formula. Results We included 5103 participants (mean age of 63.6 years) with a mean follow-up of 8.1 years. Cross-sectionally, higher TSH levels were associated with lower eGFR (Beta (β): −1.75 mL/min; 95% confidence interval (CI): −2.17, −1.33), in multivariable models adjusting for several cardiovascular risk factors including smoking, hypertension and history of coronary heart disease among others. In contrast, longitudinally, higher TSH levels were associated with less annual eGFR decline (β: −0.06 mL/min; CI: −0.11, −0.01) and lower CKD incidence (odds ratio 0.85, CI; 0.75, 0.96). Compared with euthyroid participants, subclinical hyperthyroid individuals had an increased risk for CKD whereas hypothyroid individuals had a decreased risk (P for trend = 0.04). Conclusions Hyperactive thyroid function is associated with increased risk of kidney function decline while hypothyroidism is associated with a decreased CKD risk. More insight is needed in the pathophysiological pathways connecting high thyroid function and kidney function decline.