The interrelationship between hepcidin, vitamin D, and anemia in children with acute infectious disease

Hadar Moran-Lev*, Yosef Weisman, Shlomi Cohen, Varda Deutsch, Michal Cipok, Ekaterina Bondar, Ronit Lubetzky, Dror Mandel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hepcidin is a master regulator of iron metabolism. Recently, it has been shown that vitamin D suppresses hepcidin expression. Our hypothesis was that hepcidin levels inversely correlate with vitamin D levels in anemic children during acute infection. Methods: A prospective study was performed on 90 patients (45 females, 45 males, mean age 7.3 ± 5 years) who were admitted to the pediatric ward. Sixty-two patients had infectious disease (32 with coexisting anemia, 30 without anemia), and 28 patients were hospitalized for noninfectious causes. Blood samples for IL-6, hepcidin, iron status parameters, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) were obtained within 72 h after admission. Results: Serum concentrations of IL-6 and hepcidin were significantly higher and 25-OHD, iron, and transferrin were significantly lower in anemic children with infectious disease compared with controls. Children with a serum 25-OHD level < 20 ng/ml had significantly increased odds of having anemia than those with a level > 20 ng/ml (OR: 6.1, CI: 1.15–32.76). Correlation analyses found positive associations between hepcidin levels and ferritin (R 2 = 0.47, P < 0.001) and negative associations between hepcidin and transferrin (R 2 = 0.57, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Higher IL-6 and lower 25-OHD levels may lead to higher hepcidin levels and subsequently to hypoferremia and anemia in children with acute infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


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