Estimation of the effect of the acute phase response on indicators of micronutrient status in Indonesian infants

F.T. Wieringa, M.A. Dijkhuizen, C.E. West, C.A. Northrop-Clewes, Muhilal

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Many indicators of micronutrient status change during infection because of the acute phase response. In this study, relationships between the acute phase response, assessed by measuring concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), and indicators of micronutrient status were analyzed in 418 infants who completed a 6-mo randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, supplementation trial with iron, zinc and/or β-carotene. The acute phase response, defined by raised CRP (plasma concentration >10 mg/L), raised AGP (>1.2 g/L), or both raised CRP and AGP, significantly affected indicators of iron, vitamin A and zinc status, independently of the effects of supplementation. Plasma ferritin concentrations were higher by 15.7 (raised AGP) to 21.2 (raised CRP and AGP) μg/L in infants with elevated acute phase proteins compared with infants without acute phase response (P < 0.001). In contrast, plasma concentrations of retinol were lower by 0.07 (P < 0.05, raised AGP) to 0.12 (P < 0.01, raised CRP) μmol/L, and of zinc lower by 1.49 (P < 0.01, raised AGP) to 1.89 (P < 0.05, raised CRP and AGP) μmol/L. Hemoglobin concentrations and the modified relative dose response were not affected. Consequently, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia was underestimated in infants with raised acute phase proteins by >15%, whereas the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was overestimated by >16% compared with infants without acute phase response. Hence, using indicators of micronutrient status without considering the effects of the acute phase response results in a distorted estimate of micronutrient deficiencies, whose extent depends on the prevalence of infection in the population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3061-3066
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


  • Acute phase proteins
  • Ferritin
  • Hemoglobin
  • Modified relative dose response
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc


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