Serum Ferritin Relates to Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Offspring of Fathers With Higher Serum Ferritin Levels

Serum Ferritin Relates to Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Offspring of Fathers With Higher Serum Ferritin Levels

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OBJECTIVE:

Body iron status has been linked to atherosclerosis in adults. The purposes of our study were to determine (1) the association between circulating ferritin levels and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in a cohort of apparently healthy children and (2) the association between cIMT and parental ferritin levels.

APPROACH AND RESULTS:

Circulating ferritin levels (microparticle enzyme immunoassay), metabolic parameters, and cIMT (ultrasonography) were analyzed cross-sectionally in a cohort of 692 healthy white children with a mean age of 8 ± 2 years (52% girls and 48% boys). In consecutive 123 children from the cross-sectional sample, the same serum assessments were also performed at baseline in their parents, and the cIMT was repeated after 3 years of follow-up in the children at a mean age of 11 ± 2 years (53% girls and 47% boys). Weak but significant positive associations were evident between children's circulating ferritin levels and cIMT (r=0.123; P=0.001) and with the change in cIMT 3 years later a tendency was also observed (r=0.185; P=0.048). In multiple regression analyses, circulating ferritin levels contributed independently to cIMT variance (β=0.090; P=0.026; R(2)=10%) and cIMT change variance (β=0.216; P=0.019; R(2)= 3.4%) after controlling for body mass index, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, age, sex, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. This association was, however, remarkably significant (β=0.509; P=0.001; R(2)= 20.4%) in children whose fathers had ferritin levels above the median value (122.5 ng/mL).The latter association remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Maternal's ferritin levels showed no interaction in this association.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest a paternal-specific effect on cIMT partially reflected by father's ferritin levels.

Media title: 
ARTERIOESCLEROSIS, THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY
Quartile: 
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