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Han, Ling-ling; Wang, Yu-xia; Li, Jia; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Bian, Che; Wang, He; Du, Shufa; & Suo, Lin-na (2014). Gender Differences in Associations of Serum Ferritin and Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 58(11), 2189-2195. PMCID: PMC6636645


Aim: This study examines gender differences in associations of serum ferritin and diabetes, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and obesity in Chinese.
Methods: This study based on nationwide, population-based China Health and Nutrition survey included 8,564 men and women aged 18 years or older. Anthropometric and fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipids, ferritin, and transferrin data were collected.
Results: Ferritin concentrations were higher in men than women (201.55±3.6 vs. 80.46±1.64 ng/mL, p<0.0001). The prevalences of MetS, diabetes, obesity, and overweight were 8.05%, 8.97%, 4.67%, 25.88% among men and 14.23%, 6.58%, 5.81%, 26.82% among women, respectively. Elevated ferritin concentrations were associated with higher body mass index, waist circumference, lipids, insulin, glucose (all p<0.0001). Serum ferritin concentrations increased gradually with aging among women. The inverted U shaped association between serum ferritin and age was observed among men. Elevated concentration of ferritins were significantly related with higher risk of MetS (p<0.0001), obesity (p = 0.010), overweight (p<0.0001), and diabetes (p<0.0001) among men, but not among women.
Conclusions: There was a gender difference in associations between ferritin and MetS, obesity, and diabetes in Chinese. Further evaluations of the variation in gender on these associations are warranted to understand the mechanisms behind gender differences.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research


Han, Ling-ling
Wang, Yu-xia
Li, Jia
Zhang, Xiao-lei
Bian, Che
Wang, He
Du, Shufa
Suo, Lin-na