Haemoglobin Levels Regulate Hepcidin Production in Late Pregnancy
Keywords:hepcidin, ferritin, pregnancy, anaemia
Background: Hepcidin production is regulated by factors including plasma iron levels, inflammation, anaemia and hypoxia. In late pregnancy, hepcidin level is remarkably low. This study assesses the dominant factors regulating hepcidin production in late pregnancy.
Aim and Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between hepcidin levels, haematological parameters and body iron stores in late pregnancy.
Materials and Methods: Ten millimeters of venous blood was taken from 120 apparently healthy pregnant women between 28 weeks gestational age and delivery, to determine their haemogram, reticulocyte count; and plasma ferritin, C-reactive protein, and hepcidin concentrations. All patients with chronic illnesses and on-going inflammatory conditions were excluded.
Results: One hundred and twenty pregnant women were recruited, sixty were anaemic and sixty were non-anaemic, with mean age 26.98±4.24years vs 28.40 ± 3.60 years, t = 75.9, p<0.001. The haemoglobin concentration (8.50 ± 0.68g/dl vs 10.8 ± 0.73g/dl; F=339.0, p < 0.001), absolute reticulocyte count (19.2 ± 8.55 x109/L vs 31.8 ± 8.68 x109/L; F=61.995, p<0.001), plasma ferritin (15.4 ± 7.88ng/ml vs 23.74 ± 17.1ng/ml; F=11.75, p=0.001) and hepcidin levels (509.8 ± 297 pg/ml vs 657.9 ± 255 pg/ml; F=8.59, p=0.004) were significantly lower in the anaemic group compared to the non-anaemic group. Of all the measured parameters, haemoglobin concentration (r = 0.379; p<0.003) and plasma ferritin (r = 0.409, p = 0.001) in the anaemic group correlated significantly with hepcidin value.
Conclusion: This study confirms that plasma ferritin as well as haemoglobin concentration significantly regulate hepcidin production in late pregnancy in this cohort of patients.
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