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Iron and hepcidin as risk factors in atherosclerosis: what do the genes say?

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Genetics, July 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (76th percentile)

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8 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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42 Mendeley
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Iron and hepcidin as risk factors in atherosclerosis: what do the genes say?
Published in
BMC Genetics, July 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12863-015-0246-4
Pubmed ID

Tessel E. Galesloot, Luc L. Janss, Stephen Burgess, Lambertus A. L. M. Kiemeney, Martin den Heijer, Jacqueline de Graaf, Suzanne Holewijn, Beben Benyamin, John B. Whitfield, Dorine W. Swinkels, Sita H. Vermeulen


Previous reports suggested a role for iron and hepcidin in atherosclerosis. Here, we evaluated the causality of these associations from a genetic perspective via (i) a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, (ii) study of association of atherosclerosis-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with iron and hepcidin, and (iii) estimation of genomic correlations between hepcidin, iron and atherosclerosis. Analyses were performed in a general population sample. Iron parameters (serum iron, serum ferritin, total iron-binding capacity and transferrin saturation), serum hepcidin and genome-wide SNP data were available for N = 1,819; non-invasive measurements of atherosclerosis (NIMA), i.e., presence of plaque, intima media thickness and ankle-brachial index (ABI), for N = 549. For the MR, we used 12 iron-related SNPs that were previously identified in a genome-wide association meta-analysis on iron status, and assessed associations of individual SNPs and quartiles of a multi-SNP score with NIMA. Quartile 4 versus quartile 1 of the multi-SNP score showed directionally consistent associations with the hypothesized direction of effect for all NIMA in women, indicating that increased body iron status is a risk factor for atherosclerosis in women. We observed no single SNP associations that fit the hypothesized directions of effect between iron and NIMA, except for rs651007, associated with decreased ferritin concentration and decreased atherosclerosis risk. Two of six NIMA-related SNPs showed association with the ratio hepcidin/ferritin, suggesting that an increased hepcidin/ferritin ratio increases atherosclerosis risk. Genomic correlations were close to zero, except for hepcidin and ferritin with ABI at rest [-0.27 (SE 0.34) and -0.22 (SE 0.35), respectively] and ABI after exercise [-0.29 (SE 0.34) and -0.30 (0.35), respectively]. The negative sign indicates an increased atherosclerosis risk with increased hepcidin and ferritin concentrations. Our results suggest a potential causal role for hepcidin and ferritin in atherosclerosis, and may indicate that iron status is causally related to atherosclerosis in women.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 42 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Kenya 1 2%
Unknown 41 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 9 21%
Student > Bachelor 7 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 17%
Student > Master 6 14%
Professor 4 10%
Other 5 12%
Unknown 4 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 17 40%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 17%
Nursing and Health Professions 3 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 7%
Psychology 1 2%
Other 4 10%
Unknown 7 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 June 2016.
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Altmetric has tracked 13,560,065 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 75th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 884 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 3.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
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