Serum hepcidin levels are associated with obesity but not liver disease

Raj Vuppalanchi, Jason S. Troutt, Robert J. Konrad, Marwan Ghabril, Romil Saxena, Lauren N. Bell, Kris V. Kowdley, Naga Chalasani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Objective Hepcidin is regulated by anemia and inflammation. It is primarily expressed in the liver but studies have reported its expression in adipose tissue. The relationship between BMI and serum hepcidin and the relationship between liver histology and serum hepcidin in the morbidly obese was investigated. Methods Serum and liver tissue from patients undergoing bariatric surgery (bariatric cohort, n = 105) and serum from healthy blood donors (n = 60) were used to conduct this study. Serum hepcidin was measured using sandwich ELISA, highly specific for hepcidin-25. Serum ferritin, IL-6, IL-1β and liver function biochemistries were also measured. Results After controlling for covariates, BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 was significantly associated with higher serum hepcidin level compared to individuals with lower BMI groups (17.7 ± 11.5 vs. 3.3 ± 4.7 ng/ml, P = 0.002). The presence of NAFLD was not associated with higher serum levels of hepcidin (multivariate P = 0.37). There was no association between serum hepcidin levels and liver histology (presence of steatohepatitis, advanced fibrosis, or NAFLD activity score) in the bariatric cohort. Conclusions Obesity, but not the presence of NAFLD was associated with serum hepcidin levels. There was no association between serum hepcidin and liver histology in the morbidly obese undergoing bariatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-841
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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