Hyperthyroidism may lead to increased osteoporosis risk in premenopausal women

The most recent issue of Nutrition & Metabolism features a study on hyperthyroidism and its relation to reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and increased fracture risk in postmenopausal women. Researchers from the Department of Endocrinology at the National University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark found that thyroid hormones and thyroid autoantibodies may have an effect on BMD in premenopausal women.

The study authors examined 32 premenopausal women with untreated Graves' disease from their time of diagnosis, during 18 months of antithyroid drug therapy (ATD) and 18 months after discontinuing ATD.

The study showed significantly lower BMD in participants in the thyrotoxic state - those with excess thyroid hormone - compared to the control group. However, during the 18 months after study subjects finished ATD, BMD decreased again. In healthy controls and patients with treated Graves' disease, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and T4 correlated negatively to the bone mass.

The results indicated an impact of thyroid function on bone density regulation in premenopausal women with Graves'disease, and revealed the possibility for a direct correlation of TSH receptor antibodies to bones.