Background: Ischemia-modified albumin (IMA) derives from naive albumin, modified in the binding region of bivalent ions, as cobalt and iron. The cobalt, released from some types of hip prosthesis seems to be metabolized differently in males and females but the iron ion is more prevalent than cobalt and is detectable in the healthy population. Our aim was to verify if there are any gender- and age-related differences in IMA concentrations and if IMA correlates with cobalt and iron-related proteins.
Methods: IMA, albumin, iron, ferritin, transferrin, and cobalt were measured in 50 men and 50 women divided into two age/fertility-homogeneous groups.
Results: Men < 45-years-old showed a statistically significant lower IMA concentration than men ≥ 45 and fertile and menopausal women. Considering all the population studied, IMA does not seem to be correlated with age and is distributed differently by gender; also, Co distribution was different between males and females.
Conclusions: IMA did not correlate with cobalt, iron, ferritin, and transferrin in any group, except for fertile women where IMA presented a statistically significant correlation with serum iron values.
Minor expression of IMA in young males together with the results obtained on serum iron in fertile females, could explain the higher accumulation of circulating Co in women compared to men and their different cobalt metabolism.