lipids and thyroid disease

Last reviewed 09/2022


  • serum LDL cholesterol is raised; more rarely triglycerides are also raised
    • LDL catabolism is reduced
    • lipoprotein lipase activity and triglyceride catabolism may be reduced
  • HDL may be increased - this is because of a reduced rate of transfer of cholesteroyl ester from HDL to other lipoproteins
  • biliary excretion of cholesterol is reduced

Adequate thyroxine replacement reverses these effects.

Subclinical hypothyroidism:

  • probably causes a slight increase in LDL cholesterol


  • generally results in reduced LDL and HDL
  • increased triglycerides may occur