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Serum hepcidin levels in geriatric patients with iron deficiency anemia or anemia of chronic diseases

Serum hepcidin levels in geriatric patients with iron deficiency anemia or anemia of chronic diseases

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 47(1): 51-56

ISSN/ISBN: 0948-6704

PMID: 23743883

DOI: 10.1007/s00391-013-0508-6

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic diseases (ACD) are common in the geriatric population. However, differentiation between IDA and ACD is still problematic. Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron homeostasis: downregulation in the presence of iron deficiency allows enteral iron resorption, while upregulation in case of chronic inflammation blocks it. We aimed at studying whether serum hepcidin levels might serve as diagnostic parameter to differentiate between IDA and ACD among elderly. A total of 37 patients (age 69-97 years) were divided into 4 groups: group I (IDA), group II (ACD), group III (controls), and group IV (IDA/ACD). Serum hepcidin levels were analyzed using a commercially available ELISA kit (DRG Instruments, Marburg, Germany). Differences in hepcidin levels were tested with nonparametric methods. We could show a strong positive correlation between serum hepcidin and ferritin (Spearman rho 0.747) and a statistic significant difference of hepcidin levels among all groups (p = 0.034). Hepcidin levels between ACD and controls differed significantly (p = 0.003). Despite the small number of patients included in this study, which reduces the strength of the study's evidence, results conform with the current literature: it can be assumed that hepcidin will be used as a diagnostic parameter to differentiate between IDA and ACD in the future. However, more studies with larger patient groups are urgently needed to answer this question.

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Accession: 055731228

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