European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 142, Issue 2, pp 89–92 | Cite as

Serum ferritin and iron status of children in the Faroe Islands

  • N. Milman
  • J. Cohn
  • N. Strandberg Pedersen
Original Investigations

Abstract

Iron status was assessed by measurement of serum ferritin (S-ferritin), transferrin saturation and haemoglobin (Hb) in 270 healthy Faroese children (153 ♂, 117 ♀) 4, 8 and 13 years old. There were no significant differences between the three variables in boys and girls. Geometric mean S-ferritin increased from 16 μg/l in 4-year-old children to 21 μg/l in 8-year-old (P<0.01) and 25 μg/l in 13-year-old children (P<0.05). Likewise Hb displayed a gradual increase with age (P<0.001); the arithmetic mean Hb was 129 g/l in 4-year-old, 137 g/l in 8-year-old, and 143 g/l in 13-year-old children. Depleted iron stores (i.e. S-ferritin<12 μg/l) were present in 21.5% of 4-year-old, and in 12.7% of 8 and 13-year-old children. Latent iron deficiency (i.e. S-ferritin<10 μg/l and transferrin saturation<10%) was found in 3.1% of 4-year-old and in 0.5% of 8 to 13-year-old children. None of the children had iron deficiency anaemia. A high dietary intake of animal protein probably explains the low prevalence of iron deficiency.

Key words

Children Ferritin Haemoglobin Iron metabolism Transferrin 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Bainton DF, Finch CA (1964) The diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia. Am J Med 37:62–70Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cohn J (1982) Child health in the Faroe Islands. Medical examinations in regard to haematological, immunological microbiological and lipid studies. Scand J Soc Med [Suppl] 30:5–9Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cohn J, Skinhøj P, Vestergárd BF, Grauballe PC, Larsen JH, Hornsleth A, Hesse J (1982) Child health in the Faroe Islands. Microbiological investigations. Scand J Soc Med [Suppl] 30: 31–40Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cook JD, Finch CA (1979) Assessing iron status of apopulation. Am J Clin Nutr 32:2115–2119Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cook JD, Lipschitz DA, Miles LEM, Finch CA (1974) Serum ferritin as a measure of iron stores in normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 27:681–687Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cook JD, Finch CA, Smith NJ (1976) Evaluation of the iron status of a population. Blood 48:449–455Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dallman PR, Siimes MA (1979) Percentile curves for hemoglobin and red cell volume in infancy and childhood. J Pediatr 94: 26–31Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dallman PR, Siimes MA, Stekel A (1980) Iron deficiency in infancy and childhood. Am J Clin Nutr 33:86–118Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Garn SM, Ryan AS, Abraham S, Owen G (1981) Suggested sex and age appropriate values for “low” and “deficient” hemoglobin levels. Am J Clin Nutr 34:1648–1651Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heinrich HC (1979) Diagnostischer Wert der Radioeisen-Absorption und des Serum-Ferritins bei Eisenmangel und Eisenüberladung. Med Welt 30:89–97Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koerper MA, Dallman PR (1977) Serum iron concentration and transferrin saturation in the diagnosis of iron deficiency in children: Normal developmental changes. J Pediatr 91:870–874Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Layrisse M, Martinez-Torres C, Roche M (1968) Effect of interaction of various foods on iron absorption. Am J Clin Nutr 21: 1175–1183Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Magnusson B, Björn-Rasmussen E, Hallberg L, Rossander L (1981) Iron absorption in relation to iron status. Scand J Haematol 27:201–208Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Milman N, Pedersen NS, Visfeldt J (1983) Ferritin in healthy Danes: Relation to marrow haemosiderin iron stores. Dan Med Bull 30:115–120Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Siimes M, Addiego JE, Dallman PR (1974) Ferritin in serum: Diagnosis of iron deficiency and iron overload in infants and children. Blood 43:581–590Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Valberg L, Sorbie J, Ludwig J, Pelletier O (1976) Serum ferritin and the iron status of Canadians. Can Med Assoc J 114:417–421Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Walters GO, Miller FM, Worwood M (1973) Serum ferritin concentration and iron stores in normal subjects. J Clin Pathol 26:770–772Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Milman
    • 1
  • J. Cohn
    • 2
  • N. Strandberg Pedersen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine PBispebjerg HospitalCopenhagen NVDenmark
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of TromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of TreponematosesStatens SeruminstitutCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations