Women with Fibromyalgia More Likely to Have Low Levels of Iron in the Blood, Study Suggests

Women with Fibromyalgia More Likely to Have Low Levels of Iron in the Blood, Study Suggests
Women with fibromyalgia are more likely to have iron deficiency than women who do not have the disease, a study has found. The study, "Association of ferritin levels with depression, anxiety, sleep quality, and physical functioning in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a cross-sectional study," was published in the Croatian Medical Journal. Lack of iron (iron deficiency) in people with fibromyalgia may contribute to chronic fatigue, muscle pain, decreased endurance, and sleep disturbances. It also may lower an individual’s pain threshold, increasing sensitivity to pain, which is one of the hallmarks of the condition. A previous case-control study showed that patients with fibromyalgia had lower levels of ferritin — a protein that is responsible for storing iron in the body — than healthy individuals. Notably, "Serum ferritin concentration (cut-off <30 ng/mL) is the most sensitive and specific test for iron deficiency," the authors wrote. However, no study has explored the potential relationship between low levels of ferritin in the blood and sleep quality among those with fibromyalgia. For that reason, researchers from the Tokat State Hospital in Turkey and their collaborators set out to assess the frequency of iron deficiency in women with and without fibromyalgia, as well as to explore the possible relationship between low levels of ferritin and typical symptoms of fibromyalgia, including depression, anxiety, and poor sleep quality. The cross-sectional study included data from 100 women with fibromalyagia and 100 women without the disease who were approximately the same age (controls). Ferritin levels were measured in all study participants from 2016 to 2017 at the hospital. Women with ferritin levels lower than 30 ng/mL were considered to
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