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Public Health Nutr. 2009 Dec;12(12):2377-81. doi: 10.1017/S1368980009005187. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

The relationship between BMI and iron status in iron-deficient adolescent Iranian girls.

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School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Islamic Republic of Iran.



Many Iranian adolescent girls are Fe-deficient, but it is unclear whether Fe deficiency is associated with other nutritional risk indicators. The present study aimed to investigate the association between Fe deficiency and weight status (measured as BMI) among a representative sample of adolescent girls.


A cross-sectional study. Fe-deficient high-school girls (with or without anaemia) were selected by systematic random sampling among all students in grades 1 to 4 from high schools for girls. Blood samples were collected and analysed for Hb, haematocrit, serum ferritin, Fe and total Fe binding capacity. Weight and height were measured. BMI was calculated and compared with age- and gender-specific BMI reference values.


South Iran.


A total of 431 adolescent girls aged 13-20 years.


Some 15.3 % of the participants were at risk for overweight and 9.5 % of them were overweight. An inverse association was found between serum ferritin and BMI (r = -0.38, beta = -0.21, P < 0.001). Anaemia was more prevalent among overweight Fe-deficient adolescents than among those Fe-deficient and at risk for overweight or normal weight (34.1 % v. 28.8 % v. 27.8 %, respectively; P < 0.001).


An inverse association was found between BMI and serum ferritin. Overweight adolescents demonstrated an increased prevalence of Fe-deficiency anaemia. It seems that both abnormalities of weight and Fe status should simultaneously be targeted in overweight female adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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