Volume 2022 Number 1
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) remains one of the most common biochemical manifestations of thyroid dysfunction.1 Similarly, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is considered the most common metabolic disorder in clinical practice.2 This is a systematic review to ascertain the prevalence and optimum management approach for thyroid dysfunction in patients with T2DM. We conducted a search on PubMed and Google scholar (Figure 1) for articles published between 2010-2020 using the following keywords: subclinical hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, and diabetic complications. The prevalence of SCH in T2DM patients ranges from 7.8% to 23 % (average around 13.4%). In comparison, the prevalence of SCH in the general population ranges from 6% to 10%. SCH has a higher prevalence in females, older age >60 years old, long duration of T2DM, positive thyroid autoantibodies, glycated hemoglobin (Hba1c) 8%, and obese patients (risk factors).3 The prevalence of SCH in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) ranges from 17.3% to 43.3%. Also, the prevalence of SCH among patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN) ranges from 18.1% to 36%. Screening for thyroid dysfunction in T2DM at diagnosis is recommended and justified (Table 1). If patients with SCH have a risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), DR, DN, symptomatic, presence of goiter, pregnant women, and continuous sustained increases of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) on follow-up, it is recommended to start low dose levothyroxine which improves morbidity. The prevalence of SCH is relatively high in T2DM patients. This supports routine screening of such patients for thyroid dysfunction especially in patients with risk factors and diabetic complications (DR, DN), and consideration of thyroxine replacement wherever warranted although more evidence from randomized controlled trials is needed to explore the possible causal relationships.


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  1. Pearce SH, Brabant G, Duntas LH, Monzani F, Peeters RP, Razvi S, Wemeau JL. 2013 ETA Guideline: Management of Subclinical Hypothyroidism. Eur Thyroid J. 2013 Dec; 2:(4):215–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Chaudhury A, Duvoor C, Reddy Dendi VS, Kraleti S, Chada A, Ravilla R, Marco A, Shekhawat NS, Montales MT, Kuriakose K, Sasapu A, Beebe A, Patil N, Musham CK, Lohani GP, Mirza W. Clinical Review of Antidiabetic Drugs: Implications for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Management. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2017 Jan 24;:8:6.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Khatiwada S, Kc R, Sah SK, Khan SA, Chaudhari RK, Baral N, Lamsal M. Thyroid Dysfunction and Associated Risk Factors among Nepalese Diabetes Mellitus Patients. Int J Endocrinol. 2015;570198.
    [Google Scholar]

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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): complicationsDiabeteshypothyroidismnephropathyretinopathy and thyroid dysfunction
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