Low iron (Fe) stores may influence absorption or transport of divalent metals in blood. To obtain more knowledge about such associations, the divalent metal ions cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) and parameters of Fe metabolism (serum ferritin, haemoglobin (Hb) and transferrin) were investigated in 448 healthy, menstruating non-smoking women, age 20–55 years (mean 38 years), participating in the Norwegian HUNT 2 study. The study population was stratified for serum ferritin: 257 were iron-depleted (serum ferritin <12 μg/L) and 84 had iron deficiency anaemia (serum ferritin <12 μg/L and Hb<120 g/L). The low ferritin group had increased blood concentrations of Mn, Co and Cd but normal concentrations of Cu, Zn and Pb. In multiple regression models, ferritin emerged as the main determinant of Mn, Co and Cd (p<0.001), while no significant associations with Cu, Zn and Pb were found. Adjusted r2 for the models were 0.28, 0.48 and 0.34, respectively. Strong positive associations between blood concentrations of Mn, Co and Cd were observed, also when controlled for their common association with ferritin. Apart from these associations, the models showed no significant interactions between the six divalent metals studied. Very mild anaemia (110≤Hb<120 g/L)...

Meltzer, Helle Margrete; Brantsæter, Anne Lise; Borch-Iohnsen, Berit; Ellingsen, Dag; Alexander, Jan; Thomassen, Yngvar; Stigum, Hein; Ydersbond, Trond Arild
Environmental Research 110(5): 497–504
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