Diminished Thyroxine-Binding Globulin in Pubertal Diabetic Children
Connors MH., Dunger DB., Chapel H., Jefferson I., Jowett TP., Edwards PR.
OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of diabetes on thyroid hormone and thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) concentrations during puberty. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Total thyroxine (TT4), free thyroxine (FT4), and TBG levels of 171 thyroid microsomal antibody-negative subjects with normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured and compared with those of nondiabetic adolescents. A random subset of 68 diabetic patients (40 boys and 28 girls) and 51 control subjects (24 boys and 27 girls) were analyzed for puberty-related changes. RESULTS Most TT4 levels of diabetic subjects (80% of girls and 63% of boys) were below the 50th percentile for the normal range. TT4 increased with age in girls (r = 0.25, P < 0.04) but not in boys. FT4 was within normal limits in both sexes. TBG measurements were below the 50th percentile and 20% were below the 95% CI for both sexes; TT4 correlated with TBG in boys (r = 0.54, P < 0.001) and in girls (r = 0.58, P < 0.001). Duration of diabetes had no effect, whereas TT4 and FT4 levels were higher in girls with the lowest HbA1 levels (r = −0.29, P < 0.01 and r = −0.45, P < 0.01). Levels of TBG were reduced for all male pubertal stages (P < 0.01) and for early and late female pubertal stages (P < 0.01). There was no direct relationship between glucose control or the duration of diabetes and levels of TBG. CONCLUSIONS Because TT4 levels are low and correlate with the low levels of TBG, it is important to measure free thyroid hormone and TSH levels in diabetic adolescents to establish euthyroidism.