Background: Relationships of thyroid and iron measures in large cohorts are unreported. We evaluated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (T4) in white participants of the primary care-based Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study. Methods: We measured serum TSH and free T4 in 176 HFE C282Y homozygotes without previous hemochromatosis diagnoses and in 312 controls without HFE C282Y or H63D who had normal serum iron measures and were matched to C282Y homozygotes for Field Center, age group, and initial screening date. We defined hypothyroidism as having TSH >5.00 mIU/L and free T4 <0.70 ng/dL, and hyperthyroidism as having TSH <0.400 mIU/L and free T4 >1.85 ng/dL. Multivariate analyses were performed using age, sex, Field Center, log10 serum ferritin (SF), HFE genotype, log10 TSH, and log10 free T4. Results: Prevalences of hypothyroidism in C282Y homozygotes and controls were 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, and of hyperthyroidism 0% and 1.0%, respectively. Corresponding prevalences did not differ significantly. Correlations of log10 SF with log10 free T4 were positive (p = 0.2368, C282Y homozygotes; p = 0.0492, controls). Independent predictors of log10 free T4 were log10 TSH (negative association) and age (positive association); positive predictors of log10 SF were age, male sex, and C282Y homozygosity. Proportions of C282Y homozygotes and controls who took medications to supplement or suppress thyroid function did not differ significantly. Conclusions: Prevalences of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are similar in C282Y homozygotes without previous hemochromatosis diagnoses and controls. In controls, there is a significant positive association of SF with free T4. We conclude that there is no rationale for routine measurement of TSH or free T4 levels in hemochromatosis or iron overload screening programs.
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