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Diab Vasc Dis Res. 2008 Mar;5(1):15-8. doi: 10.3132/dvdr.2008.003.

Elevated serum ferritin concentrations in prediabetic subjects.

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Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.



Few data are available on the association of variables of the insulin resistance syndrome and serum ferritin, an indicator of body iron stores. We examined the relationship between serum ferritin levels and impaired fasting glucose, a pre-diabetes stage associated with insulin resistance, in this study.


One hundred and eighty seven people, including 91 subjects with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and 96 healthy people who were well matched for age and sex, were enrolled. Body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure of the participants were measured and serum cholesterol, triglyceride, white blood cells (WBC) count, C-reactive protein (CRP) and ferritin were evaluated. All the data were analysed by t-test, chi2 test and analysis of variance.


The IFG group had higher serum ferritin concentrations (85.5+/-6.6 microg/L vs. 49.4+/-3.7 microg/L, p=0.001). A positive correlation was found between fasting plasma glucose and serum ferritin (r=0.29, p=0.001). Using multiple regression analysis, we found an association between serum ferritin and blood pressure (0.15, p=0.01), FPG (0.29, p=0.001), triglyceride (0.08, p=0.01) and cholesterol (0.07, p=0.03). The odds ratio for the association of IFG in male subjects with a high serum ferritin level was 8.3 (95% CI: 1.2-11.9, p=0.01) and for females was 3.06 (95% CI: 0.58-15, p=0.1).


Based on the data from our study, aelevation in serum ferritin can be seen in pre-diabetes stage, before the occurrence of an overt diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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