Is obesity associated with iron status in the elderly? A case study from Sharpeville, South Africa

Wilna H. Oldewage-Theron, Abdulkadir A. Egal, Christa J. Grobler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Conclusions: A coexistence of obesity and poor Fe status were observed in these elderly respondents. The positive relationship between hs-CRP and BMI indicated chronic inflammation in the higher BMI groups. The negative relationship between hs-CRP and serum Fe indicated that lower serum Fe levels were related to the inflammation linked with higher BMI. A relationship between obesity-related chronic, low-grade inflammation and poor Fe status has been found in adults, but the significance of the current study is that this relationship was also confirmed for elderly persons.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between poor Fe status and overweight or obesity in elderly respondents in South Africa.

Design: Cross-sectional, observational baseline survey.

Setting: Sharpeville, South Africa.

Subjects: A sample size calculation determined a representative sample of 104 randomly selected elderly (≥60 years) respondents. Measurements included weight, height, biochemical and haematological parameters. Measured BMI was used to categorise the respondents into normal weight, overweight and obese groups.

Results: The majority of the women were overweight (28·4 %) or obese (54·6 %); 58 % of the respondents had normal Fe status, 15 % were classified as Fe depleted, 9 % as Fe deficient and 13 % as Fe-deficient anaemic. Ten per cent of the respondents had low Hb levels with no other low Fe status parameters, and were thus anaemic due to other causes. A significant correlation (r = 0·318, P < 0·001) existed between BMI and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). hs-CRP was negatively correlated to serum Fe levels (r = -0·319, P < 0·001). No significant relationships existed between BMI and Fe status parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2015


  • Elderly
  • Iron status
  • Obesity


Dive into the research topics of 'Is obesity associated with iron status in the elderly? A case study from Sharpeville, South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this