Active Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Utero and Concentrations of Hepcidin and Selected Iron Parameters in Newborns.

Research paper by Magdalena M Chełchowska, Tomasz M TM Maciejewski, Joanna J Mazur, Joanna J Gajewska, Anastasiya A Zasimovich, Mariusz M Ołtarzewski, Jadwiga J Ambroszkiewicz

Indexed on: 20 Feb '20Published on: 15 Jun '19Published in: International journal of environmental research and public health


The aim of this study was to assess the influence of active tobacco smoke exposure in utero on the concentration of hepcidin and selected iron markers in umbilical cord blood and to evaluate the relationships between these parameters. Newborns of smoking mothers had significantly lower concentrations of serum hepcidin ( < 0.001), iron, and ferritin ( = 0.043; = 0.042, respectively), but higher levels of erythropoietin (EPO, < 0.001) and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR, = 0.011) compared with newborns of non-smoking women. Negative correlations between cotinine and the number of cigarettes smoked per day with hepcidin serum level (r = -0.33, = 0.033, r = -0.32, = 0.041, respectively) and EPO (r = 0.47, = 0.002; r = 0.46, = 0.003, respectively) were found. Univariate analysis defined for the whole group of children revealed significant associations between the concentration of hepcidin and other iron status parameters. In the models estimated separately for smokers and non-smokers, we found relations between the level of hepcidin and erythropoietin (B = -0.23, = 0.004; B = -0.46, = 0.01, respectively). In the multivariate regression model, a negative association between hepcidin and EPO concentrations in the whole group of newborns (β = -0.53; = 0.001) and in the group of smokers (β = -0.57; = 0.011) was confirmed. The present study shows significant relations between smoking during pregnancy and hepcidin levels in children born at term. Decreased cord serum concentrations of hepcidin associated with high erythropoietin levels suggest induced fetal erythropoiesis, probably due to the hypoxic effects imposed by maternal smoking.