Published: 2021-07-26

Association of serum ferritin with insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome

Taslima Begum, Shakeela Ishra, Begum Shaira Sharifa, Shamsun Nahar, Hosne Ara Begum, Sadia Sultana Khan, Mahbuba Khanum


Background: Emerging scientific evidence has disclosed unsuspected influences between iron metabolism, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Even mildly elevated body iron stores are associated with statistically significant increases in glucose homeostasis indices. But till now high serum ferritin associated with type 2 diabetes is not recognized as an entity in the current clinical guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes.

Methods: This was a Cross sectional study carried out from September 2016 to March, 2017 at PCO clinic of infertility outpatient department (OPD), department of obstetrics and gynecology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The study population consisted of all the diagnosed PCOS patients. Purposive sampling Main outcome variable: serum ferritin level and insulin resistance index (Homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance: HOMA-IR).

Results: Most of the (90.9%) patients were aged 20-30 years having BMI >25 kg/m2, mostly overweight (52.53%) or obese (25.25%). Significant increase of serum ferritin level (72.89±34.97; p=0.001) was noted in PCOS patients with insulin resistance. Marked increase in serum ferritin (82.81±31.57, p<0.001), fasting serum insulin (16.39±7.1; p<0.001), HOMA-IR (3.51±1.55; p<0.001) and more cases with insulin resistance (78.3%; p<0.001) were found in women with high ferritin level (when ≥45.5 ng/ml). Statistically significant strong positive correlation between serum ferritin level and fasting insulin level (r=0.528; p<0.001) as well as HOMA-IR (r=0.492; p<0.001) were observed.

Conclusions: These results demonstrated that elevated level of serum ferritin was associated with insulin resistance in PCOS women.


Serum ferritin, Insulin resistance, Polycystic ovarian syndrome

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