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Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009;19(1):26-32.

Association of body iron stores with development of cardiovascular disease in the adult population: a systematic review of the literature.

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Studies have indicated divergent results on the relationship between body iron stores and cardiovascular disease in adults. This systematic review of the literature explored quantitative research studies in search for an understanding of the association between body iron stores and cardiovascular disease in adults over the age of 18 years with or without previously diagnosed cardiovascular disease.


Articles were searched from 1992 to October 2008 using interlibrary loan, hand searching at the University of Windsor Leddy Library, and by using five electronic databases: Proquest, CINAHL, Medline, PubMed and AHA. The literature search resulted in 16 articles that were each read two times and interpreted by one reviewer.


Serum iron and serum transferrin receptor were not found to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Only one study in the literature examined transferrin receptor to serum ferritin ratio and found it to be related to developing an initial acute myocardial infarction. Five studies found a significant association between serum ferritin and heart disease, while nine did not. Overall, there was no strong association in the literature between body iron stores and cardiovascular disease. The lack of consistent findings in the literature suggests the need for further research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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