Ferritin and transferrin levels of the elderly population at Lagos State university teaching hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Abdulateef O. Kareem, Akinsegun A. Akinbami, Ebele I. Uche, Aishatu M. Suleiman, Rafah A. Bamiro, Benjamin Augustine, Hassan A. Odebiyi, A. O. Odunniyi


Background: The elderly have limited regenerative abilities thus predisposing them to various diseases. Measuring both serum ferritin and transferrin serve as biomarkers of iron deficiency. This study, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) determined the serum levels of ferritin and transferrin in the elderly. Full blood count was also done and correlated with serum ferritin and transferrin levels of every participant.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study at the Geriatric Clinic of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Following receipt of written consents from ninety (90) elderly participants, venous samples were drawn for full blood count (FBC) and samples for serum ferritin and transferrin ELISA assay collected and stored at -40oC until the required sample size was obtained. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23.0 (Statistical Package for Social Sciences, Inc., Chicago, Ill). The Pearson chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. P value was considered to be statistically significant when <0.05.  

Results: Participants consisted of 50 (55.6%) females and 40 (44.4%) males. The mean age of all participants was 71.31±7.38 years. The Majority, 90% (36 of 40) of the males had haemoglobin values lower than 13 gm/dl, while 66% (33 of 50) of females had haemoglobin values lower than 12 gm/dl. The mean ferritin concentration of all participants was 196.19 ±121.21ng/ml. The overall mean serum transferrin was 0.187±0.157 ng/ml with a minimum of 0.03 ng/ml and a maximum of 1.18 ng/ml.

Conclusions: Anaemia in the elderly is very common using the World Health Organization (WHO) haemoglobin cut-off values, however, iron deficiency anaemia prevalence is low.


Ferritin, Transferrin, Elderly

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