Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

An observational and Mendelian randomisation study on iron status and sepsis

Hamilton, Fergus, Mitchell, Ruth, Ahmed, Haroon ORCID:, Ghazal, Peter ORCID: and Timpson, Nicholas J. 2023. An observational and Mendelian randomisation study on iron status and sepsis. Scientific Reports 13 (1) , 2867. 10.1038/s41598-023-29641-6

[thumbnail of 41598_2023_Article_29641.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)


Iron deficiency is associated with a substantial burden of morbidity. However, supplementation of iron has been linked to increased rates of serious infection in randomised trials of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Randomised trials in other settings have been inconclusive and it is unknown if changes in levels of iron biomarkers are linked to sepsis in these other settings. We used genetic variants associated with levels of iron biomarkers as instrumental variables in a Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis to test the hypothesis that increasing levels of iron biomarkers increase the risk of sepsis. In observational and MR analyses we found that increases in iron biomarkers increase the odds of sepsis. In stratified analyses, we show that this risk may be larger in those with iron deficiency and/or anaemia. Taken together, results here suggest a required caution in supplementation of iron and underline the role of iron homeostasis in severe infection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 8 February 2023
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 07:45

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics