While iron plays an important role in many cellular functions, excess iron storage induces DNA damage by generating hydroxyl radicals and thus promotes carcinogenesis. However, it remains unclear whether body iron levels that are commonly observed in a general population are related to oxidative DNA damage. We examined the association between serum ferritin concentrations and levels of urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a biomarker of systemic oxidative DNA damage and repair, in 528 Japanese men and women aged 21-67 years. Men had much higher ferritin levels than in women, and the levels were significantly greater in women aged 50 years or older than in women aged less than 50 years. Urinary 8-OHdG concentrations were significantly and positively associated with serum ferritin levels in all the subgroups. The Spearman rank correlation coefficients were 0.47, 0.76, and 0.73 for men overall, women aged less than 50 years, and women aged 50 years or older, respectively. These associations were materially unchanged after adjustment for potential confounding variables. In men, a more pronounced association was observed in nonsmokers than in smokers. Our results suggest body iron storage is a strong determinant of levels of systemic oxidative DNA damage in a healthy population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research