Impaired thermoregulation and thyroid function in iron-deficiency anemia.Am J Clin Nutr 1990; 52(5):813-9AJ
Ten women with iron-deficiency anemia, 8 with depleted iron stores (nonanemic), and 12 control women, all of similar body fatness, were exposed to a 28 degrees C water bath to test the hypothesis that iron-deficiency anemia impairs thermoregulatory performance. The anemic women had lower rectal temperatures than did control women (36.0 +/- 0.2 vs 36.2 +/- 0.1 degree C, respectively, P = 0.001) and a lower rate of oxygen consumption (5.28 +/- 0.26 vs 5.99 +/- 0.29 mL.min-1.kg body wt-1, respectively, P = 0.04) at 100 min of cold exposure. Plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations were significantly (P less than 0.002) lower in anemic than in control women at baseline and during cold exposure. Responses of iron-depleted subjects were similar to those of control subjects. Iron supplementation corrected the anemia, significantly (P = 0.03) improved rectal temperature at 100 min, and partially normalized plasma thyroid hormone concentrations. Plasma catecholamines were unaffected by iron status. This experiment demonstrates a functional consequence of iron-deficiency anemia in the balance of heat production and loss and suggests that thyroid-hormone metabolism may be responsible.