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Hypothyroidism is associated with higher testosterone levels in postmenopausal women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

Bajuk Studen KBiček AOblak AZaletel KGaberšček S1.

Endokrynol Pol. 2019 Nov 4. doi: 10.5603/EP.a2019.0055. [Epub ahead of print]




There is lack of data about possible interaction of sex hormones and thyroid autoimmunity and function in women after menopause. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate possible association between the occurrence and severity of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women.


We performed a prospective observational clinical study that included 55 women with HT (AllHT) and 18 healthy subjects (HS) after menopause matched by age, body mass index (BMI), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and menopause duration. According to thyrotropin (TSH) level, AllHT patients were divided into two subgroups: euthyroid (EuHT) with TSH in the range 0.355.5 mU/L and hypothyroid (HypoHT) with TSH above 5.5 mU/L. Total and free testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) were measured in all subjects. Values are presented as mean SD. Mann Whitney U test was used for comparison of values between the groups.


In HypoHT, significantly higher free T levels (7.893.55 pmol/L, p < 0.05) were found in comparison to HS (7.133.03 pmol/L). In HypoHT, free T was significantly higher than in EuHT (7.195.65 pmol/L, p < 0.05). SHBG was significantly lower in HypoHT (45.417.4 nmol/L) compared with HS (60.0919.51 nmol/L, p < 0.05).


We report significantly higher free and total T levels in hypothyroid postmenopausal women with HT. To our knowledge, this is the first study of sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women with HT.