High iron stores and possible increased health risks in the elderly

November 21, 2002

Much recent research suggests that iron repletion may increase the risk of several chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, but the extent to which dietary factors contribute to high iron stores is still unclear. Publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Fleming et al. evaluated the diets of a group of elderly subjects who were part of the Framingham Heart Study, and found that several dietary factors are associated with a risk for high iron stores.

Among the entire Framingham Heart Study cohort, ≈13% had high iron stores according to serum ferritin levels, in contrast to only 2.7% who were iron deficient and 1.2% who were anemic.1 The 246 men and 368 women in the sample averaged 75 years old and had a medium serum ferritin concentration of 94 ¦Ìg/L; men had significantly higher serum ferritin values than women. The subjects¡¯ usual dietary intakes were measured using a food-frequency questionnaire.2 Not unexpectedly, among subjects who took supplemental iron the risk of high iron stores was as much as 4 times that of subjects who did not take supplements.3 Those who ate more than 4 servings of red meat a week had a 3-fold likelihood of high iron stores; whereas, poultry and seafood were unrelated to risk. The 30% of participants who consumed more than 3 servings of fruit or fruit juice daily had a significantly higher risk of high iron stores, which the authors propose may be due to the enhancement of iron bioavailability from vitamin C and other organic acids in fruit. Whole grains, when eaten more than 7 times weekly, substantially lowered the risk of high iron stores in comparison to refined grains.

According to the authors, elderly persons who consume a typical Western diet high in red meat or who take unprescribed iron supplements may be increasing their risk of acquiring high iron stores and, thus, their risk of developing chronic disease.5
-end-
Fleming, Diana J et al. Dietary factors associated with the risk of high iron stores in the elderly Framingham Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:1375-84.

Beard, John. Dietary iron intakes and elevated iron stores in the elderly: is it time to abandon the set-point hypothesis of regulation of absorption? Am J Clin Nutr 2002:76:1189-90.

This media release is provided by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition to provide current information on nutrition-related research. This information should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, consult your doctor. To see the complete text of this article, please go to:

http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/Dec2002/13508.Fleming.PDF or http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/Dec2002/14235.Beard.PDF.

For more information, please contact: rwood@hnrc.tufts.edu or its@psu.edu.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.