No association between serum ferritin and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Am J Epidemiol. 1995 Apr 15;141(8):719-23. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a117493.


A possible association between body iron stores, measured as serum ferritin, and carotid arterial intima-media thickening was investigated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study during 1990-1992 using a matched case-control design. For a 143-micrograms/liter greater serum ferritin concentration (the interquartile range), the odds ratio for cases with carotid intima-media thickening versus controls was 1.12 (95% confidence interval 0.97-1.30). However, there was no association (odds ratio = 1.00) after adjusting for major cardiovascular risk factors. This analysis of carotid arterial intima-media thickening, a measure of early atherosclerosis, in relation to serum ferritin does not support the hypothesis that increased body iron stores increase the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / blood
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Tunica Media / pathology


  • Ferritins
  • Iron