Serum levels of iron in Sør-Varanger northern Norway - An iron mining municipality

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Broderstad, Ann R. ; Smith-Sivertsen, Tone ; Dahl, Inger Marie S. ; Ingebretsen, Ole Christian ; Lund, Elliv (2006)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v65i5.18131
  • Subject: ferritin, transferrin saturation, miners, non-miners, industry, Sør-Varanger

Objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate iron status in a population with a high proportion of miners in the northernmost part of Norway. Study Design. Cross-sectional, population-based study performed in order to investigate possible health effects of pollution in the population living on both sides of the Norwegian-Russian border. Methods. All individuals living in the community of Sør-Varanger were invited for screening in 1994. In 2000, blood samples from 2949 participants (response rate 66.8 %), age range 30-69 years, were defrosted. S-ferritin and transferrin saturation were analysed in samples from 1548 women and 1401 men. About 30 % (n = 893) were employed in the iron mining industry, 476 of whom were miners and 417 had other tasks in the company. Type and duration of employment and time since last day of work at the company were used as indicators of exposure. Results. Both s-ferritin levels and transferrin saturation were higher in men than in women. S-ferritin increased with increasing age in women, while the opposite was true for men. Iron deficiency occurred with higher frequencies in women (16 %) than in men (4 %). Iron overload was uncommon in both sexes. Adjustment for smoking and self-reported pulmonary diseases did not show any effect on iron levels. Miners had non-significant higher mean s-ferritin and transferrin saturation than non-miners. Neither duration, nor time since employment in the mine, had any impact on iron status. Conclusions. Our analyses did not show any associations between being a miner in the iron mining industry and serum iron levels compared to the general population.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2006;65(5):432-442.)Keywords: ferritin, transferrin saturation, miners, non-miners, industry, Sør-Varanger
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