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Serum ferritin and nutritional status: insights from an eating disorders clinic population
  1. Kuria Nemba1,
  2. Barry Lewis2,
  3. Hunna Watson3,4,5,
  4. Kimberley Hoiles3,
  5. Guicheng Zhang4,6,
  6. David Forbes1,3,4
  1. 1Gastroenterology Department, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2Department of Clinical Biochemistry, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3Eating Disorders Program, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  4. 4School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  5. 5School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  6. 6School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor David Forbes, School of Paediatrics & Child Health, University of Western Australia M561, Stirling Hwy, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia; david.forbes{at}uwa.edu.au

Abstract

Objective To determine the relationship between serum ferritin and malnutrition in newly assessed patients at a paediatric eating disorders clinic.

Design This was a prospectively assessed clinical cohort study.

Setting Intake assessment clinic of a tertiary eating disorders service for children and adolescents.

Methods Clinical, anthropometric and laboratory features of children and adolescents were systematically measured. The relationship of serum ferritin to other clinical, anthropometric and laboratory measures was determined using linear regression.

Results A total of 121 female patients aged 9.5–17.6 years were included, with body mass index (BMI) z score −5.7 to 1.9 (median −1.3). Using multiple regression, serum ferritin was inversely associated with BMI z score (regression coefficient (β)=−0.234, 95% CI −0.413 to −0.055) and serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) (β=−0.476, 95% CI −0.884 to −0.068) and positively associated with alanine aminotransferase (β=0.357, 95% CI 0.055 to 0.659, controlling for age, pubertal stage and serum iron).

Conclusions In malnourished adolescents with eating disorders increased serum ferritin is associated with lower BMI z score and serum IGF-1.

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