, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 259-264
Date: 22 Nov 2010

Prohepcidin and iron metabolism parameters in the obese elderly patients with anemia

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To examine the impact of a body fat content on the concentration of a serum prohepcidin, iron metabolism parameters and inflammation markers in elderly patients with microcytic or normocytic anemia.


Clinical study with biochemical and anthropometric measurements.


Fifty two elderly patients (19 male, 33 female) with anemia, 65–91 years of age.


Prohepcidin, ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor, erythropoietin and interleukin-6 were measured using commercially available ELISA kits. Iron, TIBC, transferrin, C-reactive protein and complete blood count were assayed using standard laboratory methods. Body fat content, fat distribution and protein nutrition state parameters were assessed by means of anthropometry.


Mean serum prohepcidin levels were significantly higher in patients with high body fat content in comparison to patients with normal body fat content (224,85 vs 176,6 ng/ml). Prohepcidin levels of the elderly patients with anemia were positively correlated with biceps, subscapular and suprailiac skinfold thickness or body fat mass percentage. In our study serum prohepcidin levels do not correlate with any iron parameters or inflammation markers.


Summing up, the results of this study indicate that increased prohepcidin concentration, observed in obese elderly patients with anemia, may play an important role in iron deficiency development.