Patients who have higher levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) lose more weight after bariatric surgery, new research from Portugal reports.
“Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for obesity, and thyroid function plays a central role in body weight regulation.”
“However, the predictors of weight loss after bariatric surgery have remained largely unknown,” said lead author João Sérgio Neves, M.D.
“Our study shows that patients with higher T3 levels lose more weight after bariatric surgery. Our results underscore the future potential for thyroid hormone treatment after bariatric surgery,” Neves said.
The research team evaluated 649 patients with morbid obesity and normal thyroid function who underwent bariatric surgery.
Overall, 84.3 percent of patients were women; and on average, patients were 41.8 years of age, with preoperative body mass index (BMI) averaging 44.65 kg/m2.
The authors excluded patients with history of thyroid disease, those being treated with levothyroxine or antithyroid drugs and patients with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) or free thyroxine (T4) outside the reference range.
Researchers found 11.4 percent of patients whose free T3 was higher than the average lost significantly more excess weight than did the patients with normal free T3 (76.6% vs 65.4%). No patients had free T3 below the average.
Patients with high free T3 were younger (36.6 vs 42.5 years) but not significantly different in sex, BMI, surgery type, diabetes, or hypertension or dyslipidemia status.
Even after adjusting for other factors, the loss of excess weight in the group with high free T3 was significant.
News source: Endocrine Society. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
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