DEPARTMENT OF CARDIOLOGY, RAFSANJAN UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, RAFSANJAN, IRAN
Ardebil University of Medical Sciences
Shaheed Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical Center, Rafsanjan, Ardebil, and Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Background: Animal studies have indicated the effects of iron stores in the process of free radical formation and low density lipoproteins (LDL) oxidation. Oxidation of the lipids especially LDLs by oxidants such as iron has a central role in atherogenesis. As a result, evaluating the amount of iron stores in patients with coronary artery diseases may be of importance.
Methods: In this prospective study, 112 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and 63 normal individuals were investigated. The coronary condition of the subjects was determined by coronary angiography. The amounts of iron, ferritin, total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL and HDL were measured in both groups. The subjects were also evaluated for known CAD risk factors including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, family history of CAD and hyperuricemia. The subjects suffering from anemia, renal and hepatic diseases and those with a history of malabsorption, hemochromatosis, chronic infections or immunological and inflammatory disorders and patients with neoplastic diseases and cardiac failure were excluded from the study. Moreover, all the subjects had a similar socioeconomic status. Results: Mean serum iron was 12.9±4 µmol/l and 10.8±5µmol/l in the group with CAD (case) and in the group without CAD (control), respectively, which was significantly different (p<0.001).
Mean serum ferritin was 126±75 µgram/l in the case group, while it was 101±75 µgram/1 in the control group: this was also significantly different (p<0.005).
Conclusion: The findings indicate that serum levels of iron and ferritin - excluding other known risk factors - in patients with CAD are higher compared to the subjects without CAD.
Consequently, iron stores in the body may play a role in the atherosclerotic process.