Thyroid autoantibodies are associated with a reduced prevalence of frailty in community-dwelling older women

George C. Wang, Monica V. Talor, Noel R. Rose, Anne R. Cappola, Roger B. Chiou, Carlos Weiss, Jeremy D. Walston, Linda P. Fried, Patrizio Caturegli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The contribution of autoimmunity to the multisystem dysregulation that characterizes the frailty syndrome in older adults is unknown. Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between thyroid antibodies and frailty in older women. Design, Setting,andParticipants: We conducted a cross-sectional study nested within the Women's Health and Aging Studies I and II. Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAbs), thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAbs), and antinuclear antibodies were measured in the baseline sera of 641 community-dwelling older women. Main Outcome Measure: Frailty was defined using a validated five-component measure. Results: The prevalence of prefrailty and frailty was lower in TgAb-positive than negative older women (37.1 vs. 47.8% and 6.7 vs.11.9%, respectively; P = 0.01 and 0.03). The prevalence of prefrailty, but not frailty, was lower in TPOAb-positive than negative women (38.9 vs. 48.0% and 10.1 vs. 11.3%; P=0.04 and 0.34). After adjustment for covariates including serum thyroid stimulation hormone concentration and thyroid medication usage in multinomial regression models, TgAb-positive older women had lower odds of prefrailty and frailty compared with TgAb-negative women (odds ratio 0.57 and 0.30; 95% confidence interval 0.34-0.98 and 0.10-0.85, respectively). Similarly, TPOAb-positive older women had lower odds of frailty compared with TPOAb-negative women (odds ratio 0.44;95%confidence interval 0.20-0.96). These trends were not observed with antinuclear antibodies. Conclusion: Independent of thyroid function status, community-dwelling older women who are seropositive for TgAbs and TPOAbs are less likely to be frail than seronegative women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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