Numerous studies have shown that people with obesity are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 (Stefan et al, 2020; Scheen, 2017).
The mean TSH level in obese individuals is thought to be 0.8–2.0 mU/L higher than that in nonobese individuals (Boutin et al., 2016). Slightly elevated TSH levels (1 mU/L to 10 mU/L) activate Gq/11 (Allgeier et al., 1994).
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Scheen AJ. Obésité et risque de COVID-19 sévère [Obesity and risk of severe COVID-19]. Rev Med Suisse 16(695):1115-1119 (2020) French
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Samuelson PN, Merin RG, Taves DR, Freeman RB, Calimlim JF, Kumazawa T - "Toxicity following methoxyflurane anaesthesia. IV. The role of obesity and the effect of low dose anaesthesia on fluoride metabolism and renal function" Can Anaesth Soc J 23(5):465-79 (1976)
Klepac K, Kilić A, Gnad T, Brown LM, Herrmann B, Wilderman A, Balkow A, Glöde A, Simon K, Lidell ME, Betz MJ, Enerbäck S, Wess J, Freichel M, Blüher M, König G, Kostenis E, Insel PA, Pfeifer A - "The Gq signalling pathway inhibits brown and beige adipose tissue" Nat Commun 7:10895 (2016)
Pearce EN - "Thyroid hormone and obesity" Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 19(5):408-13 (2012)
"In large population studies, even among euthyroid individuals, serum thyroid-stimulating hormone is typically positively associated with body weight and BMI."
Boutin A, Neumann S, Gershengorn MC - "Multiple Transduction Pathways Mediate Thyrotropin Receptor Signaling in Preosteoblast-Like Cells" Endocrinology. 157(5):2173-81 (2016)"Obese individuals often have increased leptin in the circulation, which reduces the formation of triiodothyronine by suppressing the effect of type II deiodinase on the paraventricular nucleus TRH neurons in the hypothalamus. This increase in TRH stimulates the secretion of TSH in the hypophysis. The mean TSH level in obese individuals is 0.8–2.0 mU/L higher than that in nonobese individuals. Over time, this slight elevation can cause an increase in the incidence of goiter, nodular goiter, and papillary thyroid cancer [26, 27]." (Boutin et al., 2016)
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