Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2010; 19(2): 48-55

Published online June 1, 2010

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Serum Ferritin and Risk of the Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Adults

Hee Kyoung Kim, Jie Hyang Lim*, Eun Ryoung Kwon, Young Jin Park, Na Eun Kim, Woo Yong Noh, Kyoung Hwan Seol, Myoung Chul Jung, Yun Jin Kim(1)

Department of Family Medicine, Busan Medical Center; and Department of Family Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital(1)


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between serum ferritin and metabolic syndrome.
Methods: The study subjects consisted of 600 adults over age 20 who visited the hospital for a health check-up. Among these subjects, 294 were excluded leaving 306 individuals as final subjects. Metabolic syndrome was defined as the presence of at least three of the followings: elevated blood pressure, low high density lipoprotein cholesterol, elevated serum trigly cerides, elevated plasma glucose, or abdominal obesity. After adjustment for age, alcohol intake, smoking status, body mass index, and menopause status, odds ratios for the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome by sex were calculated for quartiles of serum ferritin using logistic regression analysis.
Results: Metabolic syndrome was more common among the women with the highest serum ferritin level compared to the lowest levels of serum ferritin in women(6.9 vs. 41.4%, P-trend=0.008) however, the same did not apply in men(23.7 vs. 26.3%, P-trend=0.697). The odds ratios for metabolic syndrome, comparing the fourth quartile of ferritin with the first quartile, was 5.95(95% CI=1.06-33.39; P=0.042; P-trend=0.239) in women and 0.62(95% CI=0.20-1.90; P=0.400; P-trend=0.848) in men.
Conclusion: These results show that highly elevated serum ferritin concentration is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome in women, but moderately elevated serum ferritin levels are not
independently associated with the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Ferritin, Metabolic syndrome, Risk factors