Association between Serum Ferritin Levels and Risk of the Metabolic Syndrome in Chinese Adults: A Population Study

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Abstract

Ferritin is a ubiquitous intracellular protein that can store and release iron and act as a buffer against iron deficiency and iron overload. Ferritin is widely used as a clinical biomarker to evaluate iron status. Increased serum ferritin concentrations have been reported to be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) features. However, serum ferritin concentrations differ significantly according to sex and ethnicity, and the data concerning the relationship between serum ferritin concentrations and MetS in Asian men and women are conflicting. This study aimed to explore the relationship between serum ferritin and MetS in Chinese population. Fasting blood samples and anthropometric data collected on 8,441 adults aged 18 and older in 2009 as part of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, a large-scale longitudinal, household-based survey in China. Data was collected by trained physicians and biomarkers were measured with Hitachi Clinical Autoanalyzer 7600 D model and P model. Median levels of serum ferritin were significantly higher in men compared with women (121.9 vs. 51.0 ng/ml, P < 0.001), and significantly lower in non metabolic syndrome population with MetS population (73.2 vs. 106.0 ng/ml, P < 0.001). The difference remained significant after further adjusted for age, nationality, Body mass index (BMI), smoking status, and alcohol consumption. For both men and women, the highest prevalence of MetS occurred in the highest quartile of serum ferritin. The odds ratios increased progressively across the ferritin quartiles (P<0.001 for trend). Increased serum ferritin concentrations are associated with the metabolic syndrome among men and women in China. © 2013 Li et al.

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Li, J., Wang, R., Luo, D., Li, S., & Xiao, C. (2013). Association between Serum Ferritin Levels and Risk of the Metabolic Syndrome in Chinese Adults: A Population Study. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074168

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