Serum Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Levels Are Associated with Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents

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It is currently unclear whether subclinical thyroid dysfunction is associated with blood pressure. Furthermore, data on the potential relation of thyroid function with blood pressure in children and adolescents are sparse. We investigated the association between serum TSH levels and blood pressure in a population-based study conducted in children aged 3–10 yr and adolescents aged 11–17 yr.

Material and Methods:

Data from 6435 children and 5918 adolescents of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS) were analyzed. Two readings of systolic and diastolic blood pressure were taken in a sitting position after 5 min of rest. Hypertension was defined by an increased systolic or an increased diastolic blood pressure using age-, sex-, and height-specific reference values from the KiGGS study. Serum TSH levels were measured with the electrochemiluminescence method. High and low serum TSH levels were defined according to age-specific reference limits for the assay. Continuous and categorized serum TSH levels were associated with hypertension by multivariable logistic regression.


Serum TSH levels were significantly associated with hypertension in children (odds ratio = 1.12; 95% confidence interval = 1.00–1.25; P = 0.045) and adolescents (odds ratio = 1.19; 95% confidence interval = 1.12–1.26; P < 0.001). High serum TSH levels were positively associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, but not with hypertension in children and adolescents.


There is a positive relationship between serum TSH levels and hypertension in children and adolescents, suggesting that subclinical hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of hypertension.

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