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Iron status in obese women

Department of Internal Medicine, Metabolism and Dietetics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Department of Palliative Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Introduction and objective:
A decreased concentration of iron, and consecutively haemoglobin, ferritin and decreased level of saturated transferrin, were observed in obese individuals more often than in healthy subjects. The purpose of this study was to determine whether iron, ferritin, transferrin saturation are significantly diminished in obese female patients compared to non-obese counterparts, and whether excess adiposity and inflammation were associated with depleted iron.

Material and Methods:
Female patients (n=48) diagnosed with obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2), aged 18–40 were accepted for the study. A control group (n=30) encompassed normal weight women, aged 18–30. All obese women obtained an individually adjusted dietary plan with an energy content of 1,500 kcal. Blood glucose, insulin, lipids, ferritin, TIBC and iron concentrations were assayed in serum twice, initially and after 8 weeks of dieting.

The obese women at the initial evaluation, in comparison to non-obese control women, were characterized by a significantly lower mean red blood cell volume (MCV; 84.2±12.4 vs. 91.3±9.3 fL; p<0.0001), serum iron level (92.6±42.4 vs. 119.8±44.0 μg/dL; p<0.01), and transferrin saturation (TSAT; 25.9±12.7 vs. 38.8±15.7%; p<0.01), but by higher plasma level of the C-reactive protein (CRP; 7.0±6.7 vs. 1.2±1.3 mg/L; p<0.01). The obese women after 8 weeks of diet decreased their mean total body weight from 104.1±21.3 to 99.2±20.7 kg (p<0.0001). CRP level decreased slightly but significantly from 6.9±7.1 to 6.2±7.5 (p<0.05).

Obese women exhibit an increased level of CRP which may affect iron homeostasis. Weight loss leads to decrease in the CRP level, but it does not change haematologic parameters in the period of 8 weeks

Angelika Kargulewicz   
Department of Internal Medicine, Metabolism and Dietetics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
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