Topical Area: Nutritional Immunology and Inflammation, Aging and Chronic Disease
Several studies have investigated the role of hepcidin in hypoferremia of obesity, but findings are mixed. In this study we examined the interrelationships among inflammatory markers, hepcidin and circulating iron, and investigated the contribution of hepcidin to iron status among subjects with overweight or obesity compared to those with normal weight.
This study combined data from two different cross-sectional studies in which inflammatory and iron status markers and hepcidin concentrations were measured from fasting blood samples for a total of 98 subjects with either normal weight (n= 28), overweight (n=39) or obesity (n= 31). Associations among variables were investigated using ANOVA, correlation and regression analyses. Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. Mean ± SEM were reported for continuous variables except for skewed variables in which case geometric means (geometric mean ±1SEM interval) were reported.
Results : Subjects with obesity had lower serum iron concentration compared to those with normal weight [(72 ± 6 µg/dL vs. 103 ± 10 µg/dL; P = 0.01)]. C-reactive protein concentration was highest in subjects with obesity [3.63 (2.98, 4.43) mg/L], followed by those with overweight [0.80 (0.66, 0.98) mg/L] and lowest among those with normal weight [(0.40 (0.32, 0.48) mg/L) (P< 0.05 for all). Ferritin concentration did not differ among groups (P > 0.05). Hepcidin concentration was positively correlated with BMI, hemoglobin, serum iron and serum ferritin, and transferrin saturation. Regression analyses adjusting for confounding variables showed that the association between plasma hepcidin concentration and both serum iron and transferrin saturation depended on the BMI category (P-values for interactions < 0.05) with an inverse relationship among subjects with obesity compared to a positive association among those with normal weight.
Conclusions : The results of our study contribute to evidence of the role of elevated hepcidin in hypoferremia among individuals with obesity compared to those with normal weight.
Funding Sources : none