Serum ferritin levels are associated with metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women

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Objective: Ferritin, a marker of total body iron stores, is known to be associated with the risk of having metabolic syndrome and has been demonstrated to increase after the onset of menopause. Postmenopause status is an important determinant of metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to perform a menopause status-specific analysis of the association between ferritin levels and metabolic syndrome. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 3,082 participants (1,691 premenopausal women and 1,391 postmenopausal women), all of whom were enrolled in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007. Results: Premenopausal and postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome had higher ferritin levels than did those without metabolic syndrome. After adjustments for age; body mass index; alcohol intake; smoking history; exercise; hormone therapy use; hemoglobin, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase levels; and intake of energy and iron, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that postmenopausal women with ferritin levels in the third tertile had an increased risk of having metabolic syndrome (odds ratio, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.04-2.81) compared with postmenopausal women with levels in the first quartile. No such association was detected in premenopausal women. Conclusions: Increased ferritin levels may be a determinant for metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1124
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 1



  • Ferritin
  • Menopause
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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