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This story is about the hazards of even "normal" iron levels, not just those seen in hemochromatosis:



High Body Iron Stores In Men Confirmed As Risk Factor For MI


WESTPORT, Apr 23 (Reuters) - Among men, increased body iron stores is an independent risk factor for acute MI, according to the results of a study conducted in Finland. This confirms findings previously reported.


Dr. Jukka T. Salonen, of the University of Kuopio, and colleagues studied 99 men from the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study who had a history of acute MI, probable acute MI, or prolonged chest pain. The researchers also studied 98 men who had not experienced an MI.


As a measure of body iron stores, Dr. Salonen's team calculated the ratio of serum transferrin receptor to serum ferritin concentrations. Among the study subjects, the mean ratio was 15.1, compared with 21.3 for the control subjects, a statistically significant difference, according to a report in the April 21st issue of Circulation.


"[M]en in the lowest and second lowest thirds of the...ratio had a 2.9-fold...and 2.0-fold...risk of AMI compared with men in the highest third," the research team reports. Dr. Salonen's group speculates that body iron stores contribute to MI through a pro-oxidative effect. "It is conceivable that the impact of increased body iron stores on the risk of

AMI is greater in the Finnish male population than in North Americans," the authors comment, because "...use of antioxidative vitamin supplements or aspirin, which is also rare in Finland."


Circulation 1998;97:1461-1466.