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Ferritin and Percent Transferrin Saturation Levels Predict Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 4 ]

Author(s):

Leo R. Zacharski, Galina Shamayeva , Bruce K. Chow and Ralph G. DePalma   Pages 428 - 436 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Introduction: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk associate with ferritin and percent transferrin saturation (%TS) levels. However, increased risk has been observed at levels considered within the “normal range” for these markers.

Objective: To define normative ferritin and %TS levels associated with T2D and CVD risk.

Methods: Six-monthly ferritin, %TS and hemoglobin levels from 1,277 iron reduction clinical trial participants with CVD (peripheral arterial disease, 37% diabetic) permitted pair-wise analysis using Loess Locally Weighted Smoothing plots. Curves showed continuous quantitative ferritin, hemoglobin (reflecting physiologic iron requirements), and %TS (reflecting iron transport and sequestration) levels over a wide range of values. Inflection points in the curves were compared to ferritin and %TS levels indicating increased T2D and CVD risk in epidemiologic and intervention studies.

Results: Increasing ferritin up to about 80 ng/mL and %TS up to about 25% TS corresponded to increasing hemoglobin levels, and minimal T2D and CVD risk. Displaced Loess trajectories reflected lower hemoglobin levels in diabetics compared to non-diabetics. Ferritin levels up to about 100 ng/mL paralleled proportionately increasing %TS levels up to about 55%TS corresponding to further limitation of T2D and CVD risk. Ferritin levels over 100 ng/mL did not associate with hemoglobin levels and coincided with increased T2D and CVD risk.

Conclusions: Recognition of modified normal ranges for ferritin from about 15 ng/mL up to about 80- 100 ng/mL and %TS from about 15% up to about 25-55% may improve the value of iron biomarkers to assess and possibly lower T2D and CVD risk.

Keywords:

Iron, ferritin, transferrin, diabetes, normal values, cardiovascular.

Affiliation:

Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Jct., Vermont, Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, Research Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, Research Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, Washington DC and the Norman Rich Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD



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