According to a recent study, appr 10% of coronary heart diseases could be avoided by timely preventing iron deficiency. The study examined the data from 12.164 participants, who were classified as iron deficient or not, based on the presence of an absolute iron deficiency (only includes stored iron – ferritin) and functional iron deficiency (includes both iron in storage (ferritin) and iron in circulation (transferrin)).
The researchers analyzed the relation between iron deficiency and incident coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality after adjustments for age, sex, smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, body mass index, and inflammation.
At the beginning of the study 60% of participants had absolute iron deficiency and 64% had functional iron deficiency. During a follow-up of 13 years there were 2.212 (18.2%) deaths. Of these, a total of 573 individuals (4.7%) died from a cardiovascular cause. Incidence coronary heart disease and stroke were diagnosed in 1.033 (8.5%) and 766 (6.3%) participants respectively.
Functional iron deficiency was linked to a 24% higher risk of coronary heart disease, 26% raised risk of cardiovascular mortality, and 12% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with no functional iron deficiency. Absolute iron deficiency, on the other hand, was related to a 20% raised risk of coronary heart disease compared with no absolute iron deficiency. Remarkably, it was not linked with mortality. There were no link between iron status and incident stroke.
The researchers also estimated the proportion of heart illnesses in 10 years that would have been avoided if all individuals were with no iron deficiency. It turned out that without iron deficiency, 5.4% of all deaths, 11.7% of cardiovascular deaths, and 10.7% of new coronary heart disease diagnoses would not have occurred.
This established relationship between iron deficiency and problems with heart health are still to be confirmed as the study was observational.
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