Investigators have found that women with a history of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) are also at a higher risk of receiving a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its various comorbidities, including coronary artery disease, diabetes, and dyslipidemia.1

Autoimmune diseases in general affect women more frequently than men, and thyroid disease, in particular, is very common, according to the American Thyroid Association.Antithyroid antibodies are found in up to 20% of the population and can sometimes occur in tandem with other autoimmune diseases.2

Investigators in Taiwan conducted a cohort study, including patients with newly diagnosed Graves disease (GD) or Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT). They used a logistic regression model to investigate the association between exposure, end point, later diseases, and treatment and assessed the cumulative incidence.2

GD may be caused by generating a B-cell immune response to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody, which then causes thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia and hyperthyroidism, according to the authors.1 On the other hand, HT may be caused by a T-cell–mediated immune response, causing thyroid destruction and overt hyperthyroidism.1

The AITD group included 3599 patients with GD and 1332 patients with HT. In the findings, the investigators concluded that PCOS risk in patients with AITD was significantly higher than that in the control group. Furthermore, in patients with both AITD and PCOS, the odds ratios of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia were 2.63, 2.48, and 2.05, respectively.1

  1. Ho C, Chen H, Hsieh M, et al. Increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome and it’s comorbidities in women with autoimmune thyroid disease. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(7):2422. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17072422
  2. Thyroid Q&A. American Thyroid Association. May 2007. Accessed May 27, 2020.