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Obesity modulate serum hepcidin and treatment outcome of iron deficiency anemia in children: A case control study

Mohammed Sanad1*, Mohammed Osman1 and Amal Gharib2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt

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Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2011, 37:34  doi:10.1186/1824-7288-37-34

Published: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Recently, hepcidin expression in adipose tissue has been described and shown to be increased in patients with severe obesity. We tried to assess the effect of obesity on hepcidin serum levels and treatment outcome of iron deficiency anemia in children.

Methods

This was a case control study included 70 children with iron deficiency anemia "IDA" (35 obese and 35 non-obese) and 30 healthy non-obese children with comparable age and sex(control group). Parameters of iron status (Serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, total iron binding capacity and transferrin saturation) and serum hepcidin levels were assessed initially and after 3 months of oral iron therapy for IDA.

Results

Compared to the control group, serum hepcidin was significantly lower in non-obese children with IDA(p < 0.01) and significantly higher in obese children with IDA (p < 0.01). Hepcidin increased significantly in non-obese children with IDA after 3 months of iron therapy (P < 0.01). On the other hand, obese children showed non-significant change in hepcidin level after iron therapy (p > 0.05). Although hepcidin showed significant positive correlations with Hb, serum iron and transferrin saturation in non-obese children with IDA, it showed significant negative correlations with Hb, serum iron and transferrin saturation in obese children with IDA (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Obesity increased hepcidin levels and was associated with diminished response to oral iron therapy in childhood iron deficiency anemia.

Keywords:
Obesity; Hepcidin; Iron deficiency; Children