Hepcidin is upregulated by obesity and may exert a detrimental effect on iron status during pregnancy

Abstract Number Theme Presentation Type Cover Approved
0478 Prevalence and risk factors for micronutrient status(deficiency, overload) Poster Not Approved


Abstract Content


Iron deficiency and obesity during pregnancy lead to unfavorable maternal and neonatal outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of maternal obesity on hepcidin concentrations throughout pregnancy.


A longitudinal study was carried out at the National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico City during 2013-2014. The study protocol was revised and approved by the Institutes´ Research and Ethics Committees. A cohort of 96 pregnant women was followed. According to the WHO BMI categories, 41 women were classified as obese (prepregnancy BMI = 40) and 55 as normal weight (prepregnancy BMI 18.5-25). ). Fasting blood samples were collected at weeks 13, 20, 27 and 35 of gestation to determine hepcidin (ELISA, DRG diagnostics) and sTfr (ELISA R&D Systems). Dietary iron was obtained with a 7-day food frequency questionnaire, and mean daily supplemental iron intake was registered. The development of pregnancy-related complications such as preeclampsia (n=6) and gestational diabetes (n=9) was recorded. Repeated measures analysis using the General Linear Model approach was performed using STATA 12; ironavailability (rTfs), iron intake and the development of pregnancy complications were included in the model.


Hepcidin decreased as pregnancy progressed (p< 0.0001), but its concentration was higher in women with pregestational obesity (p=0.008). Besides obesity, hepcidin was negatively affected by iron availability (rTfs concentration) (p=0.03). It was not influenced by iron intake or perinatal complications.


These findings support the notion that obesity affects hepcidin performance during pregnancy and secondarily mayexert a detrimental effect on iron status.

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