Serum Ferritin, Insulin Resistance, and β-cell Dysfunction: A Prospective Study in Normoglycemic Japanese Men
Objectives: The present cohort study investigated the relationship between serum ferritin levels and indices of insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction in a normoglycemic population without iron overload disorders.Methods: The study participants included 575 normoglycemic Japanese men aged 35–57 years with serum ferritin levels of 400 μg/L or less. Insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction were estimated at baseline and after 3 years by the homeostasis model assessments of insulin resistance and β-cell function (HOMA-IR and HOMA-β, respectively). To compare the subsequent changes in HOMA-IR and HOMA-β over a 3-year follow-up period among 3 groups based on tertiles of baseline serum ferritin levels (4.9–87.1, 87.2–140.5, and 140.6–396.8 μg/L), the geometric mean HOMA-IR and HOMA-β values at year 3 were calculated for each group using analysis of covariance, incorporating the respective log-transformed parameters at baseline in addition to age, body mass index and major confounding factors.Results: The multivariate-adjusted geometric mean HOMA-IR at year 3 was significantly higher in those in the highest and middle serum ferritin tertiles (1.24 and 1.22, respectively), compared with the lowest tertile (1.07) (p=0.009). When the total study participants were stratified by median body mass index (22.72 kg/m2), similar positive relationships were observed between serum ferritin levels and HOMA-IR for both obese and non-obese participants. However, the adjusted geometric mean HOMA-β at year 3 was similar among the 3 serum ferritin groups.Conclusions: Elevated serum ferritin levels predicted a subsequent increase in HOMA-IR in normoglycemic Japanese men without iron overload disorders.
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