Publications

Sharply higher rates of iron deficiency in obese Mexican women and children are predicted by obesity-related inflammation rather than by differences in dietary iron intake

Cepeda-Lopez, A.C.; Osendarp, S.J.M.; Boonstra, A.; Aeberli, I.; Gonzalez-Salazar, F.; Feskens, E.J.M.; Villalpando, S.; Zimmermann, M.B.

Summary

Background: Obese individuals may be at increased risk of iron deficiency (ID), but it is unclear whether this is due to poor dietary iron intakes or to adiposity-related inflammation. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relations between body mass index (BMI), dietary iron, and dietary factors affecting iron bioavailability, iron status, and inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP)] in a transition country where obesity and ID are common. Design: Data from the 1999 Mexican Nutrition Survey, which included 1174 children (aged 5–12 y) and 621 nonpregnant women (aged 18–50 y), were analyzed. Results: The prevalence of obesity was 25.3% in women and 3.5% in children. The prevalence of ID was significantly (P <0.05) higher in obese women and children compared with normal-weight subjects [odds ratios (95% CIs): 1.92 (1.23, 3.01) and 3.96 (1.34, 11.67) for women and children, respectively]. Despite similar dietary iron intakes in the 2 groups, serum iron concentrations were lower in obese women than in normal-weight women (62.6 ± 29.5 compared with 72.4 ± 34.6 µg/dL; P = 0.014), and total-iron-binding capacity was higher in obese children than in normal-weight children (399 ± 51 compared with 360 ± 48 µg/dL; P <0.001). CRP concentrations in obese women and children were 4 times those of their normal-weight counterparts (P <0.05). CRP but not iron intake was a strong negative predictor of iron status, independently of BMI (P <0.05). Conclusions: The risk of ID in obese Mexican women and children was 2–4 times that of normal-weight individuals at similar dietary iron intakes. This increased risk of ID may be due to the effects of obesity-related inflammation on dietary iron absorption. Thus, ID control efforts in Mexico may be hampered by increasing rates of adiposity in women and children