Differences in HDL particle size in the presence of subclinical thyroid dysfunctions: The ELSA-Brasil study

Carolina Castro Porto Silva Janovsky, Giuliano Generoso, Alessandra C. Goulart, Raul D. Santos, Michael J. Blaha, Steven Jones, Peter P. Toth, Paulo A. Lotufo, Marcio Sommer Bittencourt, Isabela M. Benseñor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Thyroid dysfunction is related to several lipid abnormalities. There is no consensus about concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in different studies. The aim of this report is to evaluate HDL particle (HDL-P) subfractions across a spectrum of thyroid functions in a Brazilian population. Methods: Individuals were divided into three groups by baseline thyroid function (subclinical hypothyroidism, euthyroidism, and subclinical hyperthyroidism). HDL-P subfractions were analyzed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. To examine the association between HDL-P subfractions and thyroid function, we used univariate and multivariate linear regression models adjusted for demographic characteristics, comorbidities, lifestyle factors, and traditional lipid measurement (HDL-C, LDL-C and triglycerides). Results: Of 3304 participants, 54.1% were women, 51.2% white, with mean age 50.6 ± 8.7 years. HDL-C and triglycerides levels (p = 0.032 and p = 0.016, respectively) were higher in the SC hypothyroid group. There were no statistically significant differences in total cholesterol levels and LDL-C levels. In univariate analysis, small HDL-P subfractions were significantly lower in subclinical hypothyroidism (p = 0.026) whereas intermediate HDL-P were higher in subclinical hyperthyroidism (p = 0.049), compared to euthyroidism. After adjustment for demographic data, SC hypothyroidism was still statistically associated with lower levels of small HDL-P. After adjusting for comorbidities, lifestyle factors, and traditional lipid measurements, SC hypothyroidism had an established association with lower levels of small HDL-P while SC hyperthyroidism was associated with lower levels of large HDL-P. Conclusions: In this large cohort from a Brazilian population, subclinical hypothyroidism was associated with lower small HDL-P subfractions, and subclinical hyperthyroidism with lower large HDL-P subfractions and higher intermediate HDL-P subfractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • HDL subfractions
  • HDL-cholesterol
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Subclinical hyperthyroidism
  • Subclinical hypothyroidismy
  • Thyroid function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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