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Effect of subclinical hyperthyroidism on osteoporosis: A meta-analysis of cohort studies

Xu N1Wang Y1Xu Y1Li L1Chen J1Mai X1Xu J1Zhang Z1Yang R1Sun J1Chen H2Chen R3.

Endocrine. 2020 Mar 23. doi: 10.1007/s12020-020-02259-8. [Epub ahead of print]




The effect of subclinical hyperthyroidism (SH) on bone mineral density (BMD) remains unclear, as do the linking mechanisms. This review aims to investigate the relationship between SH and bone loss in terms of the gender-dependent effects of SH on BMD.


The PUBMED, EMBASE, OVID, MEDLINE, SINOMED and COCHRANE LIBRARY databases (inception to August 12, 2019) were searched for cohort studies investigating the effects of SH on BMD. Eligible studies were subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis using a random-effects model meta-analysis with the Cochrane systematic evaluation method.


Twelve cohort studies involving 275,086 participants who were followed for 3 months to 13 years were included based on predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results indicated that SH did not affect lumbar spine BMD in females or males. However, a significant reduction in femoral neck BMD was observed in females, but not in males. Further, there was a significant increase in hip fractures events in both females and males with SH.


The present findings indicate that SH is significantly associated with hip fracture risk, and therefore, it is important to assess the risk of fractures in patients with SH. Future studies should focus on methods for accurately determining this risk in patients with SH and providing them with timely and efficient diagnosis and treatment.