Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health
Introduction: Thyroid disorders and diabetes mellitus coexist and are prevalent endocrinopathies among adult population. Thyroid dysfunction contributes to metabolic imbalances, increase beta-cell apoptosis and glucose intolerance. There is paucity of data and contradicting findings on how thyroid dysfunction influence glycaemic control. Therefore, we evaluated thyroid dysfunction and glycaemic control among Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients in Ghana. Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among 192 T2DM patients from Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital. Three consecutive monthly fasting plasma glucose (FBG) and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were analysed and the results were classified as, moderate hyperglycaemia (MH) (FBG = 6.1–12.0 mmol/L, HbA1c < 7%), severe hyperglycaemia (SH) (FBG ≥ 12.1 mmol/L, HbA1c > 7%) and good glycaemic controls (GC) (FBG = 4.1–6.0 mmol/L, HbA1c < 7%). Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4), body mass index (BMI) and other clinical parameters were measured. Data analysis was done using R language version 4.0.2 and p <.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: There were no significant differences in age (years) between patients in the various glycaemic groups (p =.9053). The overall prevalence of thyroid disorders was 7.8% among T2DM patients. The prevalence of thyroid disorders was higher in patients with SH (11.7%) followed by those with MH (7.5%) and then those with GC (5.4%). Serum levels of TSH and FT3/FT4 ratio were significantly lower in T2DM patients with SH compared to those with MH and the GC (p <.0001). However, FT4 was significantly higher in SH patients compared to the good glycaemic controls (p < .01). The first tertiles of TSH [aOR = 10.51, 95% CI (4.04–17.36), p < .0001] and FT3 [aOR = 2.77, 95% CI (1.11–6.92), p =.0290] were significantly and independently associated with increased odds of hyperglycaemia. Conclusion: The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction is high in T2DM and increases with hyperglycaemia. Reduced TSH and T3 may worsen glycaemic control. Periodic monitoring of thyroid function should be incorporated into management guidelines among T2DM patients in Ghana.
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