Serum ferritin and iron status of children in the Faroe Islands.Eur J Pediatr. 1984 Jun; 142(2):89-92.EJ
Iron status was assessed by measurement of serum ferritin (S-ferritin), transferrin saturation and haemoglobin (Hb) in 270 healthy Faroese children (153 males, 117 females) 4, 8 and 13 years old. There were no significant differences between the three variables in boys and girls. Geometric mean S-ferritin increased from 16 micrograms/l in 4-year-old children to 21 micrograms/l in 8-year-old (P less than 0.01) and 25 micrograms/l in 13-year-old children (P less than 0.05). Likewise Hb displayed a gradual increase with age (P less than 0.001); the arithmetic mean Hb was 129 g/l in 4-year-old, 137 g/l in 8-year-old, and 143 g/l in 13-year-old children. Depleted iron stores (i.e. S-ferritin less than 12 micrograms/l) were present in 21.5% of 4-year-old, and in 12.7% of 8 and 13-year-old children. Latent iron deficiency (i.e. S-ferritin less than 10 micrograms/l and transferrin saturation less than 10%) was found in 3.1% of 4-year-old and in 0.5% of 8 to 13-year-old children. None of the children had iron deficiency anaemia. A high dietary intake of animal protein probably explains the low prevalence of iron deficiency.