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Clin Chem. 1990 Jul;36(7):1350-5.

Factors affecting the concentrations of ferritin in serum in a healthy Australian population.

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Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia.


We measured by different techniques the ferritin concentration in serum in two large asymptomatic Australian population samples: 1367 bank employees and 601 insurance corporation employees. Ethanol intake, diet, the frequency of blood donation, smoking and exercise habits, and past medical history were documented. The median concentration of ferritin in serum varied according to age and sex, but was generally higher than in previously reported populations under age 65 years. Results for the two population samples were in close agreement. Apart from the blood donation status, the most important factors influencing the concentration of ferritin in serum were ethanol intake in men and diet in women. Heavy ethanol intake was associated with increased values, even among men without evidence of liver disease. We conclude that the reference range for ferritin concentration in serum in the Australian population should be significantly increased and should be related to age as well as sex. This study emphasizes the need to determine local reference ranges for ferritin concentrations in serum.

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