Background: Previous studies have shown an association between acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and thyroid function. However, their causal relationship remains unspecified. Therefore, this study aims to explore the causal relationship between ARDS and thyroid function-related diseases with Mendelian Randomization (MR) analysis.

Methods: ARDS dataset finn-b-J10_ARDS, finn-b-E4_THYROID dataset of disorders of the thyroid gland (DTG) and finn-b-E4_HYTHYNAS of hypothyroidism were acquired from public database. In univariate MR (UVMR), causal effects between DTG, hypothyroidism and ARDS were investigated using 5 types of algorithms, and reliability was validated by sensitivity analysis. Moreover, multivariate MR (MVMR), enrichment and interaction network analyses of genes corresponding to SNPs of DTG and hypothyroidism were carried out. Significant level was chosen as p<0.05.

Results: UVMR identified DTG and hypothyroidism (P < 0.05, OR > 1) as risk factors, and were causally related to ARDS. Reliability of UVMR results was confirmed through sensitivity analysis, and results were stable and reliable. However, DTG and hypothyroidism had no effect on ARDS in MVMR, possibly because these factors had independent effects on ARDS. Ultimately, 96 and 113 genes corresponding to SNPs of DTG and hypothyroidism were found closely related to immune-related pathways.

Conclusions: UVMR and MVMR analysis revealed a causal connection between DTG and hypothyroidism as risk factors with ARDS, providing robust evidence for investigation into relationship of hypothyroidism on ARDS and between DTG and ARDS.