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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1401829, 5 pages
Research Article

Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Male Gender Are Associated with Diabetes Occurrence in Patients with Beta-Thalassemia Major

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
2Endocrinology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, 07100 Sassari, Italy
3Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 7 January 2016; Revised 2 March 2016; Accepted 17 March 2016

Academic Editor: Liping Yu

Copyright © 2016 Giovanni M. Pes 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.


Background. Intensive transfusion schedule and iron-chelating therapy prolonged and improved quality of life in patients with β-thalassemia (β-T) major. However, this led to an increased risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes. In this study we analyzed variables associated with the occurrence of impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes in patients with β-T major. Methods. 388 Sardinian patients were included. Age, gender, duration of chelation therapy, body mass index, and markers of pancreatic and extrapancreatic autoimmunity were analyzed. Results. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies (Ab) (OR = 3.36; ) and male gender (OR = 1.98; ) were significantly associated with glucose impairment, while the other variables were not. Ferritin levels were significantly higher in TPOAb positive compared to TPOAb negative patients (4870 ± 1665 μg/L versus 2922 ± 2773 μg/L; ). Conclusions. In patients with β-T major a progressive damage of insulin-producing cells due to secondary hemosiderosis appears to be the most reasonable mechanism associated with glucose metabolism disorders. The findings need to be confirmed with additional well designed studies to address the question of whether TPOAb may have a role in the management of these patients.