Iron deficiency in children and adolescents: association with overweight and inflammation
Keywords:pediatric obesity, inflammation, iron metabolism disorders, child, adolescent
Introduction: Obesity and iron deficiency remain the main independent factors that contribute to the global burden of disease. The association between overweight and obesity and iron deficiency has described in the literature. Objective: To describe the prevalence of iron deficiency in overweight children and adolescents and to verify the association with inflammation. Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted between June and December 2019, with 170 participants aged 4 to 14 years, from an institution in the municipality of Santo André-Brazil. The body mass index for nutritional classification was calculated using the z-score suggested by the World Health Organization and the waist-to-height ratio, classified as altered when ≥ 0.5. Blood count, iron, ferritin, transferrin saturation, ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP), blood glucose and insulin were collected. Data were compared between individuals with normal weight and overweight (student's t-test, Mann-Whitney or χ2) and logistic regression. Results: The prevalence of iron deficiency was 78.1% in the overweight group and 18.9% in the eutrophic group (p<0.001), (OR = 5.45; 95% CI 1.97–15.03). The concentrations of us-CRP were higher in the overweight group (p=0.003). There was a direct association between iron deficiency and increased us-CRP (p=0.022). Conclusion: There was a higher prevalence of iron deficiency among overweight children and adolescents. The analysis of the iron profile in overweight or obese individuals must be performed in conjunction with an inflammatory activity test such as us-CRP.
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