Cord blood ferritin and fibroblast growth factor-23 levels in neonates

Farah N. Ali, Jami Josefson, Armando J. Mendez, Karen Mestan, Myles Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Context: Elevated levels of the phosphate-regulating hormone, fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) are associated with skeletal and cardiovascular disease. Levels of FGF-23 are elevated in neonates, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. Iron deficiency is a recently described stimulus for FGF-23 production. Objective: To test the hypothesis that lower fetal iron status, as measured by lower cord blood ferritin, is independently associated with elevated FGF-23 levels in neonates. Design and Participants: This is a cross-sectional study of 64 full-term, healthy neonates. Setting: This study took place in a university-based, tertiary care center. Main Outcome Measures: Plasma levels of second generation C-terminal FGF-23 (cFGF-23) and intact FGF-23 (iFGF-23). Results: Levels of cFGF-23 ranged from 108 to 7508 reference units (RU)/ml (median, 824 RU/ml), and iFGF-23 from undetectable (<8.5) to 135.4 pg/ml (median, <8.5 pg/mL). Ferritin ranged from 58 to 719 ng/ml (mean, 203 ng/ml). Lower cord blood ferritin levels were associated with higher cFGF-23 (r = -0.320; P = .014), but not iFGF-23 levels (r = -0.222; P = .082). In multivariate analyses adjusted for glycemic indices, maternal race, and parity, lower ferritin levels remained independently associated with higher cFGF-23 levels (B = -0.261, P = .01). In the full models, higher cord blood glucose and C-peptide levels were also independently associated with higher cFGF-23 levels. Conclusions: cFGF-23, but not iFGF-23 levels, are elevated in cord blood of healthy term neonates and independently associated with lower serum ferritin and higher glycemic indices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1679
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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