Thyroid autoimmunity is the most frequent condition involved in polyautoimmunity (PolyA). However, the frequency of latent and overt PolyA in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) as the index condition is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of these types of PolyA in patients with AITD as the index condition.
This study adhered to the relevant sections of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guideline. Searches through MEDLINE, EMBASE, and LILACS were done to find articles in Spanish and English. Relevant vocabulary terms and key terms related to AITD and other autoimmune diseases were used. Two investigators independently screened the eligible studies, extracted data, and assessed the quality and risk of bias. Fixed and random effect models were used accordingly. Cluster analysis was used to determine similarities among diseases in the articles included (based on Jaccard index).
A total of 56 articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Of these, 25 were case-controls, 17 were cohorts, and 14 were cross-sectional studies. These studies included a total of 47,509 patients. Female was the predominant gender and included 38,950 patients (81.23%, 95% CI: 80.85 – 81.60). Graves’ disease (GD) was the most common type of thyroid autoimmunity (69.16%, 95% CI: 68.23 – 70.07). Globally, overt PolyA was found in 13.46% of the patients with AITD. This type of PolyA was represented mainly by type 1 diabetes and autoimmune gastritis. Latent PolyA was presented in 17.45% of the patients, and anti-proinsulin, anti-parietal cells, and ds-DNA antibodies were the most common. HT had the highest frequency of overt PolyA in Europe (15.60%, 95% CI: 14.72-16.53), whereas latent PolyA was most common in patients with GD in Asia (21.03%, 95% CI: 17.76-24.71). Overt and Latent PolyA were associated with gastrointestinal and endocrinological ADs in most of cases, and clustered with rheumatological, dermatological and neurological ADs.
Latent and overt PolyA are common in patients with AITD. These results provide insightful information for early diagnosis and management of concurrent ADs in patients with AITD. Aggregation of ADs in different clusters may help to define different phenotypes associated with thyroid autoimmunity that are critically relevant in clinical settings.
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