Body Iron Stores Are Associated With Serum Insulin and Blood Glucose Concentrations: Population study in 1,013 eastern Finnish men

  1. Jukka T Salonen, MD, PHD, MSCPH
  1. Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio Kuopio, Finland
  2. Department of Community Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio Kuopio, Finland
  3. Human Population Laboratory, California Department of Health Services Berkeley, California
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jukka T. Salonen, MD, PhD, MScPH, University of Kuopio, PO. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland. E-mail: salonen{at}


OBJECTIVE To study if there is an association between mildly elevated body iron and glucose homeostasis indexes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A cross-sectional population study was conducted in 1,013 middle-aged men, and an association of serum ferritin with concentrations of serum insulin, blood glucose, and serum fructosamine was tested.

RESULTS The mean concentration of fasting serum insulin was 21.6% higher (95% CI 7.3–37.9%, P < 0.001) in the 5th quintile of serum ferritin compared with the 1st quintile. The elevation in blood glucose was 6.1% (95% CI 2.3–9.9%, P < 0.001) and in serum fructosamine 3.9% (1.5–6.9%, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS Mildly elevated body iron stores are associated with statistically significant elevations in glucose homeostasis indexes.

  • Received April 16, 1996.
  • Revision received October 9, 1996.
  • Accepted October 9, 1996.
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