Study links low thyroid function to greater odds of type 2 diabetes


Having too little thyroid hormone in the blood, even in the low-normal range raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, especially in people with prediabetes, a new study in nearly 8,500 people finds. The study results will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting in Boston.

Prediabetes is a mild elevation in blood glucose, or sugar, level that usually occurs before diabetes develops. One of every 10 people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes every year, according to the Hormone Health Network.

In the new study, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over long-term follow-up increased by 13 percent for people with low thyroid function–often called underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism-or even those with low-normal thyroid function. However, the diabetes risk was up to 40 percent higher for individuals with reduced thyroid function if they already had prediabetes, the investigators reported.

“These findings…

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