Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2016 Feb 29;32(2):187-92. Epub 2015 Oct 29.
Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is closely associated with elevated body iron stores. The hormone hepcidin is the key regulator of iron homeostasis. Inadequately low hepcidin levels were recently reported in subjects with manifest T2DM. We investigated whether alterations of hepcidin levels precede the manifestation of T2DM and predict T2DM development independently of established risk conditions.
Methods: This prospective population-based study included 675 subjects aged 50-89 years, 51.9% of whom were female. Hepcidin levels were measured by gold standard tandem mass spectrometry. Diabetes was diagnosed according to American Diabetes Association criteria, and incident diabetes was recorded between baseline in 2000 and 2010.
Results: The baseline hepcidin-to-ferritin ratio in subjects that subsequently developed diabetes during follow-up was reduced on average by 29.8% as compared with subjects with normal glucose tolerance (95% confidence interval, -50.7% to -0.2%; p = 0.049). After adjustment for age, sex, and serum ferritin, higher hepcidin levels were associated with reduced risk of incident diabetes (hazard ratio per 1-unit higher log2 hepcidin, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.98; p = 0.035; 33 events). Additional adjustment for established diabetes risk factors and determinants of hepcidin concentration did not appreciably change these results (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.66-0.99). Likewise, inadequately low hepcidin levels were also detected in subjects with prevalent T2DM (n = 76).
Conclusions: Hepcidin levels that are inadequately low in relation to body iron stores are an independent predictor for incident T2DM and may contribute to diabetes-related tissue iron overload. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.