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The Endocrine Society, April 1-4

The Endocrine Society's 99th Annual Meeting & Expo

The annual meeting of The Endocrine Society was held from April 1 to 4 in Orlando, Fla., and attracted more than 9,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in endocrine and metabolic disorders. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of obesity, diabetes, as well as growth hormone and thyroid diseases.

In one study, Julie Ann Sosa, an M.D. candidate at the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., and colleagues aimed to determine whether exposure to flame retardant (FR) chemicals is associated with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).

"We recruited 140 adults, 70 with PTC and 70 who were healthy volunteers without evidence of thyroid cancer or thyroid disease," Sosa said. "Then we visited participants' homes and collected dust samples, a metric that we have previously shown to be an indicator of long-term exposure to FRs in the home."

The investigators found that the levels of some FRs were higher in the homes of patients with PTC, suggesting that they may contribute to the occurrence of PTC.

"Different patterns of cancer aggressiveness were associated with various FRs. For example, levels of an organophosphate flame retardant (i.e., tris[2-chloroethyl] phosphate [TCEP]) were most strongly associated with larger tumors that extended outside the thyroid. Compared to controls, those with higher TCEP levels were about four times as likely to have tumors that extended outside the thyroid," Sosa said. "Our results suggest that exposure to some FRs in the home environment may be associated with PTC. This is a critical concern, because these FRs are commonly found in American homes, and the levels of exposure to some FRs are thought to be increasing."

Abstract No. SAT 248

In another study, Arjola Bano, M.D., of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues found that higher free thyroxine (FT4) levels in middle-aged and elderly people are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic morbidity and mortality, independently of cardiovascular risk factors.

"In a prospective study of over 9,000 middle-aged and elderly people, we explored the association of thyroid function with subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcification), atherosclerotic events (fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease or stroke), and atherosclerotic mortality (death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, or other atherosclerotic disease)," Bano said.

The investigators found that the risk of atherosclerotic mortality increased with higher FT4 levels (hazard ratio, 2.35; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.61 to 3.41) and lower thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.00), with stronger estimates among participants with a history of atherosclerotic disease (hazard ratios, 5.76 [95 percent confidence interval, 2.79 to 11.89] for FT4 and 0.81 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.95] for TSH).

"Our findings suggest that FT4 measurement could be a potential marker for predicting atherosclerotic mortality, especially among subjects with atherosclerotic disease," Bano said. "Moreover, our findings underscore the importance of identifying the modifiable mediators of the association between thyroid function and atherogenesis."

Abstract No. OR37-2

Marisa Censani, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues found that non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, in addition to TC/HDL and TG/HDL ratios, were all significantly higher in vitamin D-deficient children and adolescents with overweight or obesity compared to patients without vitamin D deficiency.

"This is one of the first studies to assess the relationship of vitamin D deficiency with both lipoprotein ratios and non-HDL-C, specific lipid markers impacting cardiovascular risk during childhood, in children and adolescents with obesity/overweight," Censani said. "Vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with an increase in atherogenic lipids and markers of early cardiovascular disease. These findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency may have negative effects on lipid markers, with an increase in cardiovascular risk among individuals with low vitamin D."

Abstract No. SUN 342

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Posted: April 2017