, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 19-22
Date: 26 Nov 2010

Does high serum iron level induce low bone mass in sickle cell anemia ?

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Iron overload is quite common in patients suffering from hemoglobinopathies causing arthropathies, endocrinal affection and neuropathies. Recently low bone mass was added to the list of complications. This study is conducted to find any correlation between serum iron level and low bone mass in sickle cell anemia (SCA). Patients ≥18 years of age with sickle cell anemia, who attended outpatient clinics or admitted to King Fahd University Hospital, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia,between 1st September 2006 and August 2007 were the subjects of this study. Patients age and sex were documented and body mass index was calculated. Apart from routine hematological tests, serum ferritin, serum Iron level, total estradiol, testosterone level was done. Bone mineral density measurement was done using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at upper femur and lumbar spine. The data of 100 patients was analyzed, 48 males and 52 females. The mean age was 27.5 ± 6.1 years. In 64 patients (32 males and 32 females) serum iron level was 319.35 μg/dl and the mean serum ferritin level in males and females was within the normal range. Sixty-eight percent of females and 71.8% of males patients in whom serum iron was high had lower bone mass P = < 0.001. Our study shows that SCA patients in whom serum iron level was higher than normal effected bone mass. Further studies are needed to confirm this as a cause of osteoporosis in SCA patients.