For a study, researchers sought to compare techniques for modifying blood ferritin concentrations for inflammation in overweight and obese adolescents. About 518 teenagers (aged 16-17 years; 48% females) from Santiago, Chile, were studied using cross-sectional data. Several methods for assessing the prevalence of iron deficiency (defined as serum ferritin <15 μg/L) were evaluated, including unadjusted prevalence and higher cutoffs for various subgroups (excluding persons with inflammation), correction factors, and regression adjustments. The prevalence of serum ferritin <15 μg/L in normal-weight people without inflammation was used as a “reference” value. Each adjustment strategy was evaluated about this reference prevalence. 

The sample included 61.2% of people who were normal weight, 23.7% who were overweight, and 15.1% obese. Inflammation (defined as a C-reactive protein level of more than 5.0 mg/L) was found in 6.3%, 8.1%, and 14.1% of the three groups, respectively. Following the regression adjustments, the correction factor methods generated adjusted estimates that were closest to the reference estimate (24.1% -24.7% versus 22.9%) (24.7% -25.1% vs 22.9% ). Using a higher serum ferritin criterion (30 μg/L) for all individuals or people with overweight/obesity resulted in adjusted values that were the furthest away from the reference (59.5% and 35.3%, respectively).

When measuring iron status in populations with high rates of overweight/obesity, serum ferritin concentration may need to be adjusted. The study revealed that utilizing correction factors may be the most appropriate technique for modifying serum ferritin in adolescents after analyzing six approaches for compensating for the effect of inflammation. However, more study was needed to discover the best technique for adjusting blood ferritin concentrations in larger populations for weight-related inflammation.