Iron is essential for many physiological processes; whereas, iron overload has been known as a risk factor in progression of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of serum ferritin levels, which are known as an indicator of body iron stored in the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD).
In a case-control study, we evaluated 432 eligible men who underwent coronary angiography at Chamran Cardiology Hospital, Isfahan, Iran. They were separated into two groups of case (with CAD) and control (without CAD). All subjects had given written informed consents. Then, the blood samples were taken after 12-14 hours of fast by a biologist for measuring cardiovascular risk factors and body iron stores, including serum ferritin, serum iron, and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). For statistical analyses, chi-square test, Student’s t-test, one-way ANOVA, and the logistic regression were used.
In the present study, 212 participants with CAD in the case group and 220 participants free of CAD in the control group were included in the analysis. At baseline, there were significant differences in serum ferritin (P < 0.001) and other cardiovascular risk factors between the two groups. Moreover, when other risk factors of CVD were included in the model, serum ferritin [Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.006, 95% confidence interval of 95% (95% CI) 1.00-1.01, P = 0.045] and serum ferritin ≥ 200 (OR = 4.49, 95% CI 1.72-11.70, P < 0.001) were associated with CAD.
High iron store, as assessed by serum ferritin, was associated with the increased risk of CAD. Furthermore, it was a strong and independent risk factor in the incident of atherosclerosis in the Iranian male population.