Thyroid-associated eye disease was present in 44 (6%) of the 700 patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Compared to the patients without thyroid-associated eye disease, those with thyroid-associated eye disease tended to be older (49.3 yr vs. 35.2 yr); have a longer duration of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (2.4 yr vs. 0.9 yr), were heavier smokers, and were less likely to present with another associated autoimmune disease (only thyroid disease: 75% vs. 52.6%; associated type 1 diabetes, 2.3% vs. 16.3%). Thyroid-associated eye disease was mild and inactive in two thirds of the patients. Eye disease activity/severity was independent of sex, age, thyroid function, and smoking. No differences were noted in the prevalence of hypothyroidism or rate of levothyroxine replacement.
TSAb was positive in 5.5% in the patients with Hashimoto’s and thyroid-associated eye disease and 68.2% in those with Hashimoto’s but not eye disease. However, the levels of TSAb were higher in the patients with Hashimoto’s and thyroid-associated eye disease.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
This study reports that the prevalence of thyroid- associated eye disease was 6%. In 2/3 of the 44 cases, the eye disease was inactive (i.e., noninflammatory) and mild (not requiring glucocorticoid or radiation therapy). Patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis and thyroid-associated eye disease were somewhat older, had Hashimotos for a longer time, were less likely to have another associated autoimmune disease, had higher levels of TSAb and were more likely to be smokers. The study confirms the link of thyroid-associated eye disease with TSAb, the levels of which are strongly correlated with the occurrence and activity/severity of thyroid-associated eye disease.
— Alan P. Farwell, ND, FACE
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Graves’ Disease: http://www.thyroid.org/graves-disease/