OBJECTIVE-: Ferritin concentrations are often increased in patients with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus, but few reports have examined the associations between ferritin and atherosclerosis. We investigated whether any relationship between ferritin and coronary artery calcium score (CACS) >0 (as a marker of atherosclerosis) was independent of potential confounders, such as iron-binding capacity (transferrin), low-grade inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS AND RESULTS-: Data were analyzed from a South Korean occupational cohort of 12 033 men who underwent a cardiac computed tomography estimation of CACS and measurements of multiple cardiovascular risk factors. One-thousand three-hundred-fifteen of 12 033 (11.2%) subjects had a CACS >0. For people with a CACS >0, median (interquartile range) ferritin concentration was 196.8 (136.3-291.9) compared with 182.2 (128.1-253.6) in people with a CACS=0; P<0.001. In the highest ferritin quartile, 14.7% (442/3008) of subjects had a CACS >0 compared with 9.7% (292/3010) in the lowest quartile (P<0.0001). With increasing ferritin quartiles, there were also higher proportions of people with diabetes mellitus (P<0.0001), hypertension (P<0.0001), coronary heart disease (P=0.003), and a Framingham Risk Score >10% (P<0.0001). In logistic regression modeling with CACS >0 as the outcome, ferritin but not transferrin was independently associated with CACS >0 (odds ratio for highest quartile versus lowest quartile, 1.66 [95% CI, 1.3-1.98]; P=0.0001). CONCLUSION-: Increased ferritin concentrations are associated with the presence of a marker of early coronary artery atherosclerosis, independently of traditional cardiovascular risk factors including Framingham risk score, transferrin, preexisting vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome factors, and low-grade inflammation.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 Nov|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are very grateful for discussions with A.P. Balachandran who pointed out a difficulty with an earlier version of the paper. We also thank him for informing us of ref. . A.S. wishes to thank the members of the Institute of Theoretical Physics, G6teborg, for their hospitality during a stay in which the present work was completed. P.S. and B.-S.S. are supported by the Swedish Research Council under contract numbers 7310-125 and 8244-103, respectively. A.S. is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant no. DE-FG05-84ER40141.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine