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.