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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2014, Article ID 104318, 8 pages
Research Article

Association between Lower Normal Free Thyroxine Concentrations and Obesity Phenotype in Healthy Euthyroid Subjects

1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea
2The Catholic University of Korea Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, 665 Bupyung-6-dong, Bupyung-gu, Incheon 403-720, Republic of Korea

Received 30 January 2014; Revised 29 March 2014; Accepted 29 March 2014; Published 28 April 2014

Academic Editor: Amelie Bonnefond

Copyright © 2014 Jeong Ah Shin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated whether thyroid function could identify obesity phenotype in euthyroid subjects. A cross-sectional analysis was performed among nondiabetic, euthyroid subjects. We stratified subjects into four groups by BMI and insulin resistance (IR). Of 6241 subjects, 33.8% were overweight or obese (OW/OB) and 66.2% were normal weight (NW). Free thyroxine (FT4) levels were negatively associated with body mass index, waist circumference, triglyceride, c-reactive protein, and HOMA-IR and positively with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in both genders. In multivariate regression analysis, FT4 level, a continuous measurement, was negatively correlated with HOMA-IR ( , in men; , in women). After adjustment for age, sex, metabolic, and life style factors, subjects in the lowest FT4 quartile had an odds ratio (OR) for IR of 1.99 (95% confidence interval 1.61–2.46), as compared to those in the highest quartile. The association between low FT4 and IR remained significant in both NW and OW/OB subgroups. In conclusion, low normal FT4 levels were independently related to IR in NW and OW/OB euthyroid subjects. Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms by which low FT4 levels are linked to high IR in euthyroid ranges.