Hepcidin and Iron Metabolism in Pregnancy: Correlation with Smoking and Birth Weight and Length.

Research paper by Magdalena M Chełchowska, Jadwiga J Ambroszkiewicz, Joanna J Gajewska, Ewa E Jabłońska-Głąb, Tomasz M TM Maciejewski, Mariusz M Ołtarzewski

Indexed on: 21 Jan '16Published on: 21 Jan '16Published in: Biological Trace Element Research


To estimate the effect of tobacco smoking on iron homeostasis and the possible association between hepcidin and the neonatal birth weight and length, concentrations of serum hepcidin and selected iron markers were measured in 81 healthy pregnant women (41 smokers and 40 nonsmokers). The smoking mothers had significantly lower concentrations of serum hepcidin (p < 0.001), iron (p < 0.001), and hemoglobin (p < 0.05), but higher erythropoietin (p < 0.05) levels compared with non-smoking pregnant women. Logistic regression analysis showed the highest negative impact of the number of cigarettes smoked per day (β = -0.46; p < 0.01) and positive impact of ferritin level (β = 0.47; p < 0.001) on serum hepcidin concentration. The birth weight and the body length of smoking mothers' infants were significantly lower than in tobacco abstinent group (p < 0.001). In multiple regression analysis, birth body weight (β = 0.56; p < 0.001) and length (β = 0.50; p < 0.001) were significantly related to maternal hepcidin values. Tobacco smoking affected hepcidin level in serum of pregnant women in a dose-dependent manner. Low concentrations of iron and hemoglobin in maternal serum coexisting with high level of erythropoietin suggest that smoking could lead to subclinical iron deficiency and chronic hypoxia not only in mothers but also in fetus. Low serum hepcidin concentration in smoking pregnant women might be associated with lower fetal birth weight and length.