Background and aims In a study carried out in adults with diabetes mellitus has been shown that monitoring thyroid function is cost effective in patients with positive anti-thyroid antibodies from the start of the illness; but the incidence of hypothyroidism is low in those patients who did not have antibodies from the begging.
Although autoimmune thyroiditis is rare in prepuberal age, the aim of our study was to determinate if the data obtained in adults correlates with the paediatric population diagnosed of diabetes mellitus and also to find out how many patients have thyroid antibodies during their follow up and when that positivization occurs.
Methods Retrospective descriptive study of 76 paediatric patients diagnosed of diabetes (between 1988 and 2013) at our hospital with available data of anti-thyroid antibodies (anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroperoxidase). Characteristics of age at the begging, Tunner stage, thyroglobulin antibodies, anti-thyroperoxidase, thyroid function, glycosylated haemoglobin and other antibodies were analysed.
Results 76 patients were included, 51% were men and 48% women. The mean age of the study population at diagnosis was 8.15 years (1–16), Tunner stage 1 in 61% of cases, with mean baseline TSH of 2.9 mUI/L. In an isolated case positive anti-thyroid antibodies were detected at the begging before puberty. Among all the patients with no anti-thyroid antibodies at the diagnosed of the illness, 3 patients had thyroid antibodies at prebuberal age and 6 after puberty, with a mean age 12.1 years at the time of the positivization (8–16 years).
Conclusions Most of the patients have negative anti-thyroid antibody titles at diagnosis, positivization often occurs after puberty or in adulthood, that suggests monitoring thyroid function is not cost effective in paediatric patients.