Thyroid Inflammation Linked to Depression and Anxiety Interview with:
Thyroid gland Wikipedia imageTeja Grömer PD Dr. med. Habil

Facharzt für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Lehrbefugter der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg im Fach Psychiatrie
Bamberg What is the background for this study?

1) I had seen hundreds of clinical cases with combined depression and anxiety and noted end of 2015 that most (far more than 50%) from the subjective clinical impression were associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT)

2) Autoimmune thyroiditis on the mental side leads to specific symptoms, exhaustion, tachycardia, restlessness.

3) I thus decided to do a systematic review and meta-analysis. What are the main findings?

Response: The work shows that there is a 3,5 fold risk for depression and 2,3 fold risk for anxiety in AIT. As AIT is very common (10% of the general population) at least 45% of depression and 30% of anxiety are associated with autoimmune thyroiditis. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This has numerous specific treatment consequences from the systematic review. Information of patients allows them to trace the origin of their symptoms. Often they feel relieved. An early treatment with weight-neutral antidepressants is effective. Selenium can be added to treatment with levothyroxine. A screening for autoimmune thyroiditis (determination of antibodies in blood samples) is recommended in patients with depression and anxiety. In patients with AIT a screening for mental disorders is recommended and they must be informed about the risk. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Autoimmune thyroiditis cases must be considered an independent group in research on depression and anxiety. More effort must be taken researching origins of AIT and its treatment.


Siegmann E, Müller HHO, Luecke C, Philipsen A, Kornhuber J, Grömer TW. Association of Depression and Anxiety Disorders With Autoimmune ThyroiditisA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry.Published online May 02, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0190 

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Last Updated on May 14, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD