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Diabet Med. 2005 Jan;22(1):97-101.

Soluble transferrin receptors and ferritin in Type 2 diabetic patients.

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Diabetes Research Unit, Division of Endocrinology, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.



To determine circulating transferrin receptor levels (sTfR) in Type 2 diabetic patients to evaluate whether serum ferritin reflects iron body stores or inflammation in diabetic population.


A total of 84 consecutive Type 2 diabetic patients and 60 healthy subjects matched by age and gender were included in this case-control study. Ferritin concentration was measured by a turbidimetric method and sTfR concentration were determined by nephelometry.


Diabetic patients have higher serum ferritin levels than control subjects [114 ng/ml (12-831) vs. 74 ng/ml (11-697); P = 0.006]. However, no differences in sTfR concentrations were observed between both groups [1.27 mg/l (0.69-2.47) vs. 1.24 mg/l (0.77-2.80); P = NS]. A negative correlation between ferritin and sTfR concentration was detected in control subjects but not in diabetic patients.


Serum ferritin levels are increased in Type 2 diabetic patients in the absence of a reciprocal decrease of sTfR. This finding suggests that elevated ferritin levels in Type 2 diabetes are mainly as a result of inflammatory mechanisms rather than iron overload.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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