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Correlation between serum free iron, glycated hemoglobin and insulin resistance in uncontrolled type-2 diabetic patients

Anitha Achuthan, Uma Mageswari.


Background: The link between iron and diabetes was first recognized in pathologic conditions—hereditary hemochromatosis and thalassemia—but high levels of dietary iron also impart diabetes risk. Free iron may contribute to the pathogenesis and progress of this disease and its complication. Iron causes hyperinsulinemia by decreasing the insulin uptake and metabolism by hepatocytes. Elevated iron stores are commonly found in insulin resistance. Iron in its free form is known to induce oxidation of biomolecules by producing harmful hydroxyl radicals.

Aims and Objectives: In this study, we aimed to estimate and compare the serum levels of free iron in diabetes and healthy individuals.

Methods and Materials: This study included 253 subjects in 2 groups. Group-I comprised 207 subjects with diabetes mellitus and Group-II comprised 46 healthy subjects. Blood sugar, free iron, and glycated hemoglobin were analyzed in blood samples using standard kits. The results of all the parameters were expressed as mean ± standard deviation. Student t-test was done to assess the statistical significance between 2 groups. The association between the parameters was studied by Pearson correlation.

Result: In this study, we found a significant increase in serum free iron in Group-I (P < 0.01), when compared with Group-II. A significant correlation between the serum free iron and glycated hemoglobin (r = 0.59; P < 0.001) and fasting blood sugar (r = 0.43; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The elevated serum free iron in uncontrolled diabetes may contribute to oxidative stress which may be associated with complications of diabetes.

Key words: Free Iron; Glycated Hemoglobin; Hyperinsulinemia; Diabetes Mellitus

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