Background: No full consensus exists on which iron status parameters to use for iron status assessment. In this study, we assessed the usefulness of measurement of the hemoglobin content of reticulocytes (CHr) in the general population. Methods: The following iron status parameters were assessed in 1024 adults: CHr, reticulocytes, hemoglobin (Hb), ferritin, serum iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation and mean corpuscular volume (MCV). Mean parameter values and correlation coefficients for CHr and other parameters were calculated. In addition, mean CHr levels in subgroups based on low and normal values of other iron status parameters were compared. Results: Mean CHr values in men were 31.81 (SD = 1.50) pg and in women 31.32 (SD = 1.51) pg. A positive correlation was observed between CHr and Hb, ferritin, serum iron, transferrin saturation and MCV; a negative correlation was observed between CHr and transferrin. CHr levels were lower in subjects with low values of Hb, ferritin, serum iron and MCV compared to subjects with normal values for these parameters. Conclusion: Mean CHr values in this population were comparable to values reported in small healthy control groups. Associations with other parameters were in agreement with associations reported in literature. CHr measurement might have additional value in iron status assessment.
- Iron status
- Reticulocyte hemoglobin content