Association of serum ferritin with coronary artery disease

Clin Biochem. 2012 Nov;45(16-17):1336-41. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2012.06.013. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Background: Published results regarding the association of serum ferritin with coronary artery disease (CAD) were conflicting, thus a case-control study and a meta-analysis were performed to assess the association between serum ferritin and CAD risk.

Methods: A hospital-based case-control study was conducted with 258 CAD cases and 282 healthy controls. The restricted cubic spline (RCS) function with three knots was used to assess the concentration-risk association between serum ferritin and CAD risk. A meta-analysis was performed including 20 outcomes. Fixed or random effect pooled measure was selected on the basis of homogeneity test among studies.

Results: In our case-control study, compared with serum ferritin concentrations less than 200 μg/L as the reference, the trend of CAD risk increased by 4.2% for every 50 μg/L increase in serum ferritin (OR=1.042, 95% CI=0.946-1.147). In the meta-analysis and after excluding articles that were the key contributors to between-study heterogeneity, the standardized mean difference (SMD) of serum ferritin was associated with increased CAD risk (FEM: SMD=0.119, 95% CI=0.073-0.165). And the concentration-risk meta-analysis suggested that, for every 50 μg/L increase of serum ferritin, the risk of CAD increases by 2.4% (OR=1.024, 95% CI=1.001-1.048).

Conclusion: These findings indicate that serum ferritin is weakly positively associated with CAD risk. This risk needs to be confirmed by further studies.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Ferritins