HFE gene mutations and oxidative stress influence serum ferritin, associated with vascular damage, in hemodialysis patients

Luca Valenti, Gianfranco Valenti, Giovanna Como, Larry Burdick, Gennaro Santorelli, Paola Dongiovanni, Raffaela Rametta, Fabrizia Bamonti, Cristina Novembrino, Anna Ludovica Fracanzani, Pier Giorgio Messa, Silvia Fargion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Hyperferritinemia has been associated with cardiovascular mortality in hemodialysis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether serum ferritin was affected by iron and oxidative status and by genetic factors (HFE mutations and the Ala9Val MnSOD polymorphism), and to assess the association between ferritin and cardiovascular damage evaluated by ecocolor-Doppler. Methods: 63 hemodialysis patients were tested for HFE and MnSOD genotype by restriction analysis and oxidative status; vascular damage was assessed by measuring intima-media thickness, and by detecting plaques at carotid and femoral arteries. Results: Ferritin was correlated with transferrin saturation (p = 0.003), decreased iron-specific serum antioxidant activity (p = 0.01), age (p = 0.03), and C282Y and H63D HFE mutations (p = 0.05), but not with the MnSOD polymorphism. Ferritin was associated with advanced vascular damage, as evaluated by the presence of plaques, both at carotid (p = 0.03) and femoral arteries (p = 0.001), the other risk factors being age and low albumin. Low iron-specific antioxidant activity was associated with carotid plaques (p = 0.03). Conclusion: In hemodialysis patients, hyperferritinemia reflects a relative increase in iron availability and a decrease in iron-specific antioxidant activity, is favored by HFE mutations, and represents a risk factor for advanced cardiovascular damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Ferritin
  • Hemodialysis
  • HFE
  • Intima-media thickness
  • MnSOD
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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