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He Gao 1 Article
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Iron Overload and the Risk of Diabetes in the General Population: Results of the Chinese Health and Nutrition Survey Cohort Study
He Gao, Jinying Yang, Wenfei Pan, Min Yang
Diabetes Metab J. 2022;46(2):307-318.   Published online March 7, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Recent studies have found that there are significant associations between body iron status and the development of diabetes. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the association among iron overload (IO), insulin resistance (IR), and diabetes in Chinese adults, and to explore the sex difference.
Men and women (age >19 years) who participated in the Chinese Health and Nutrition Survey and did not have diabetes at baseline were followed between 2009 and 2015 (n=5,779). Over a mean of 6 years, 75 participants were diagnosed with incident diabetes. Logistic regression was used to assess the risk factors associated with IO. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the risk of incident diabetes and to determine whether the risk differed among subgroups. Causal mediation analysis (CMA) was used to explore the mechanism linking IO and diabetes.
According to sex-stratified multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression, IO increased the risk of incident diabetes. Women with IO had a higher risk of diabetes than men. Subgroup analysis with respect to age showed that the association between IO and diabetes was stronger in older women and younger men (P<0.001). CMA showed that liver injury (alanine transaminase) and lipid metabolism abnormalities (triglyceride, apolipoprotein B) contributed to the association between IO and diabetes.
IO is associated with diabetes and this association is sex-specific. IO may indirectly induce IR via liver injury and lipid metabolism abnormalities, resulting in diabetes.


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