Traditional food intake is correlated with iron stores in Canadian Inuit men.J Nutr. 2012 Apr; 142(4):764-70.JN
Accelerated loss of traditional lifestyles may place Inuit at risk of iron depletion given that anemia has been observed among Arctic men. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of anemia, storage iron depletion, and iron overload and to identify correlates of iron status in Canadian Inuit men. In a cross-sectional survey of 994 men in the International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey, 2007-2008, hemoglobin, serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (on a subset), CRP, RBC fatty acid composition, and Helicobacter pylori serology were measured in venous blood drawn from fasting men. Anthropometric, dietary, sociodemographic, and health data were collected. Dietary and nondietary correlates of iron status were assessed with multiple linear and logistic models. For men with CRP ≤10 mg/L (n = 804), 6.5% had depleted, 19.8% had low, and 10.3% had elevated iron stores. Anemia was moderately prevalent (16.1%), but iron deficiency anemia was less common (2.4%). There was a low probability of dietary iron inadequacy (2.4% < Estimated Average Requirement) and excess iron intakes (10.7% > Tolerable Upper Intake Level). Food-insecure men and those without a household hunter had a higher risk of low or depleted iron stores. Adiposity, traditional food intake, long-chain RBC PUFA status, and inflammation were positively associated with SF and food insecurity, smoking, and H. pylori seropositivity were negatively associated with SF. Despite a moderate prevalence of anemia, iron stores are largely adequate in this population, although lower than expected based on iron intake. The regulation of iron metabolism in this population and the high prevalence of anemia in older men warrants further investigation.