Iron deficiency increases blood cadmium levels in adolescents surveyed in KNHANES 2010-2011

Byung Kook Lee, Suk Hwan Kim, Nam Soo Kim, Jung O. Ham, Yangho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Discrepancies have been reported in the relationships between iron and cadmium concentrations. The distribution of blood cadmium concentrations was assessed in a representative sample of Korean adolescents participating in the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2010-2011, and the association between blood cadmium and iron concentrations was determined. This study was based on data from KNHANES, in which a rolling sampling design was used to perform a complex, stratified, multistage probability cluster survey of a representative sample of the noninstitutionalized civilian population in South Korea. Serum ferritin was categorized as low (<15.0 μg/L), low normal (15.0-<30.0 μg/L for girls, 15.0-<50.0 μg/L for boys), or normal (≥30.0 μg/L for girls, ≥50.0 μg/L for boys), and the association between serum ferritin and blood cadmium concentrations was assessed after adjustment for various demographic and lifestyle factors. The geometric mean (GM) of blood cadmium was significantly higher among both boys and girls in the low than in the normal ferritin group. After controlling for covariates, multiple regression analysis showed that blood cadmium concentration was inversely correlated with serum ferritin concentration in both boys and girls. In conclusion, iron deficiency is associated with increased blood cadmium concentrations in a representative sample of Korean adolescents, as evaluated in KNHANES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Cadmium
  • Ferritin
  • Iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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