Assessment of Iron Status in Overweight and Obese Adolescents

Project: A - Government Institutionb - National Science and Technology Council

Project Details


Obesity and anemia of inflammation are the two major Public Nutrition and Health issues worldwide. Emerging evidences suggest a close association between serum ferritin and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Currently, one in three boys and one in four girls in Taiwan are either overweight or obese (NAHSIT 2001-2002). A sharp rise in childhood obesity causes a great concern because obese children are at a greater risk of becoming obese adults. We evaluated the association between body iron stores (as indicated by serum ferritin) and MetS in 2,655 individuals >18 years of age from the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NAHSIT 2005-2008, Adults). Individuals with the highest serum ferritin tertile were associated with risk of MetS compared with those with the lowest (OR 2.16 (95% CI: 1.59-2.94)). The odds ratios (ORs) were substantially higher for fasting glucose (OR 2.69 (95% CI: 2.2-3.3)) and triglyceride (OR 2.56 (95% CI: 2.07-3.17)). Our recent work in children aged 7-13 years old living in Taipei City (n=648) showed that: 1) obese children had significantly lower serum hepcdin [95.2(52.9-119.8) and 112.7(65.2-127.5) ng/ml; p=.005) but higher serum ferritin [(61.0(39.0-81.0) v.s 52.0 (37.0-75.0) ng/ml; p=.006] compared with controls, and 2) serum hepcidin was significantly predicted by IL10 (β=0.26, p<.0001). Reduced hepcidin expression is associated with the excessive intestinal iron absorption and hepatic iron overload such as in patients with hemochromatosis. Currently, it is not clear what the impacts of obesity on iron status are? How does iron overload occurs and what are the risk factors? As the first step towards investigation, we propose to investigate the association between obesity and iron metabolism in adolescents by the use of National Nutrition and Health Surveys (NAHSIT 2010-2011, Adolescents) Specifically, we aim to characterize: 1. Iron status in obese and non-obese adolescents 2. Association between iron overload and metabolic syndrome (MetS)? • Analysis of regional fat/lean mass distribution by DXA • Association between serum ferritin, body composition and MetS 3. Role of hepcidin in iron homeostasis 4. The possible hepcidin regulators in obesity • Pro and anti-inflammatory balance: IL10 v.s. oxidative stress (NO) and TNF/IL1β/IL6/IFNγ • Adipokines: adiponectin, leptin • Growth factors and hypoxia: Erythropotin (EPO) and GDF15 • 5. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying iron overload? • Role of IL10 in hepcidin homeostasis
Effective start/end date8/1/137/31/14


  • Iron overload
  • obesity
  • adolescents
  • metabolic syndrome
  • hepcidin
  • National Nutrition and Health Survey
  • IL10


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