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Lipids and thyroid disease

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • 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


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