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


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 


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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

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