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High ferritin level in the blood

Blood test
High ferritin level in the blood
Last update: 20/04/2020

What is high ferritin level in the blood called?

  • Hyperferretinemia

What is the normal ferritin level in the blood?

If you need to know which are the ferritin reference ranges or you require more information about the role of ferritin in the blood, you can visit normal ferritin level in the blood

What does a high ferritin level in the blood mean?

Ferritin is a protein used by the body to store iron. It is measured to detect iron deficiency but in some occasions, it can be higher than normal.

Hyperferritinemia is usually seen in blood test but it is not very specific of any disease.

Among the multiple causes for a high ferritin level in the blood, it includes infections, inflammations, liver disorders, some types of cancer or genetic diseases such as hemochromatosis or Still's disease.

It is important to note that ferritin values in men and women are quite different. In women the differences are also significant among women in menopause and women not in menopause.

Ferritin blood values are usually given in ng/ml but sometimes you can see these values in µg/L following the International System of Units (SI). Numeric values are similar in ng/ml or in µg/L

  • Mild hyperferretinemia (150 - 300 ng/ml in women not on menopause, 250 - 400 ng/ml in men and women on menopause):

    Ferritin level in the blood are a bit high and it can be due to different disorders. It is advisable that your doctor study the rest of your blood test to make a possible diagnosis.

    If the other parameters of the assay are in the correct range, it may be because alcohol abuse, an infection, obesity or smoking.

    It is necessary that you follow a healthy lifestyle and take a new blood test in a few months. If the values return to normal range, it is not a matter of concern. If they remain high, additional screening should be requested.

  • Moderate hyperferretinemia (300 - 1000 ng/mL in women not on menopause, 400 - 1000 ng/ml in men and women on menopause):

    Ferritin level in the blood is moderately high. It is advisable to study the transferrin saturation.

    If the transferrin saturation value is normal it may suggest an infection, an inflammation, alcohol abuse, liver disorders and in very few cases some type of cancer.

    If the transferrin saturation value is high (over 50%), it can be due to hemochromatosis, a disease where iron is accumulated in the body.

    In any case, a visit to your doctor is recommended. He will study the possible diagnosis for this matter.

  • Marked hyperferretinemia (> 1000 ng/mL in adults):

    Ferritin level in the blood is very high and it may suggest a disorder that must be studied.

    If transferrin saturation is high, the most common cause is hemochromatosis. If transferrin saturation is in the normal range, it can be due to liver disorders such as hepatitis.

    Another condition that shows a marked hyperferretinemia is Still’s disease, a genetic disease not very common.

    Anyway, if you doctor considers it appropriate, you can take iron-chelating agents or phlebotomies (blood removal). You can visit a specialist in this matter, for example a gastroenterologist or a hematologist.

Which factors can raise the ferritin level in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your ferritin level in the blood:

  • Alcohol
  • Recent intake of red meat
  • Menopause
  • Multiple blood transfusions
  • Obesity
  • X-ray
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs

Which diseases can raise your ferritin level in the blood?

There are different diseases why the ferritin level in the blood can be higher than normal:

What can I do to lower the ferritin level in the blood?

If you are trying to reduce the ferritin level in the blood, you can consider the following tips:

  • For slight high values you can reduce the intake of food rich in iron and avoid tobacco and alcohol. The following foods are rich in iron: red meat, seafood, liver or nuts.
  • You can take, under medical prescription, iron-chelating drugs (Deferoxamine, Deferiprone) to reduce the ferritin level. Green tea or milk are also natural iron-chelating agents.
  • If ferritin values are extremely high, you may need phlebotomies. Phlebotomy is a process to remove blood periodically. Blood donation can be also an option.

Where can I find more information about ferritin level in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high ferritin level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in ng/dL. They are an example of a healthy woman of about 35 years old, not on menopause, with a balanced diet, not known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Mild hyperferretinemia
152 ng/ml154 ng/ml156 ng/ml158 ng/ml160 ng/ml162 ng/ml164 ng/ml166 ng/ml
168 ng/ml170 ng/ml172 ng/ml174 ng/ml176 ng/ml178 ng/ml180 ng/ml182 ng/ml
184 ng/ml186 ng/ml188 ng/ml190 ng/ml192 ng/ml194 ng/ml196 ng/ml198 ng/ml
200 ng/ml202 ng/ml204 ng/ml206 ng/ml208 ng/ml210 ng/ml212 ng/ml214 ng/ml
216 ng/ml218 ng/ml220 ng/ml222 ng/ml224 ng/ml226 ng/ml228 ng/ml230 ng/ml
232 ng/ml234 ng/ml236 ng/ml238 ng/ml240 ng/ml242 ng/ml244 ng/ml246 ng/ml
248 ng/ml250 ng/ml252 ng/ml254 ng/ml256 ng/ml258 ng/ml260 ng/ml262 ng/ml
264 ng/ml266 ng/ml268 ng/ml270 ng/ml272 ng/ml274 ng/ml276 ng/ml278 ng/ml
280 ng/ml282 ng/ml284 ng/ml286 ng/ml288 ng/ml290 ng/ml292 ng/ml294 ng/ml
296 ng/ml298 ng/ml300 ng/ml     
Moderate hyperferretinemia
302 ng/ml304 ng/ml306 ng/ml308 ng/ml310 ng/ml312 ng/ml314 ng/ml316 ng/ml
318 ng/ml320 ng/ml322 ng/ml324 ng/ml326 ng/ml328 ng/ml330 ng/ml332 ng/ml
334 ng/ml336 ng/ml338 ng/ml340 ng/ml342 ng/ml344 ng/ml346 ng/ml348 ng/ml
350 ng/ml352 ng/ml354 ng/ml356 ng/ml358 ng/ml360 ng/ml362 ng/ml364 ng/ml
366 ng/ml368 ng/ml370 ng/ml372 ng/ml374 ng/ml376 ng/ml378 ng/ml380 ng/ml
382 ng/ml384 ng/ml386 ng/ml388 ng/ml390 ng/ml392 ng/ml394 ng/ml396 ng/ml
398 ng/ml400 ng/ml402 ng/ml404 ng/ml406 ng/ml408 ng/ml410 ng/ml412 ng/ml
414 ng/ml416 ng/ml418 ng/ml420 ng/ml422 ng/ml424 ng/ml426 ng/ml428 ng/ml
430 ng/ml432 ng/ml434 ng/ml436 ng/ml438 ng/ml440 ng/ml442 ng/ml444 ng/ml
446 ng/ml448 ng/ml450 ng/ml452 ng/ml454 ng/ml456 ng/ml458 ng/ml460 ng/ml
462 ng/ml464 ng/ml466 ng/ml468 ng/ml470 ng/ml472 ng/ml474 ng/ml476 ng/ml
478 ng/ml480 ng/ml482 ng/ml484 ng/ml486 ng/ml488 ng/ml490 ng/ml492 ng/ml
494 ng/ml496 ng/ml498 ng/ml500 ng/ml502 ng/ml504 ng/ml506 ng/ml508 ng/ml
510 ng/ml512 ng/ml514 ng/ml516 ng/ml518 ng/ml520 ng/ml522 ng/ml524 ng/ml
526 ng/ml528 ng/ml530 ng/ml532 ng/ml534 ng/ml536 ng/ml538 ng/ml540 ng/ml
542 ng/ml544 ng/ml546 ng/ml548 ng/ml550 ng/ml552 ng/ml554 ng/ml556 ng/ml
558 ng/ml560 ng/ml562 ng/ml564 ng/ml566 ng/ml568 ng/ml570 ng/ml572 ng/ml
574 ng/ml576 ng/ml578 ng/ml580 ng/ml582 ng/ml584 ng/ml586 ng/ml588 ng/ml
590 ng/ml592 ng/ml594 ng/ml596 ng/ml598 ng/ml600 ng/ml602 ng/ml604 ng/ml
606 ng/ml608 ng/ml610 ng/ml612 ng/ml614 ng/ml616 ng/ml618 ng/ml620 ng/ml
622 ng/ml624 ng/ml626 ng/ml628 ng/ml630 ng/ml632 ng/ml634 ng/ml636 ng/ml
638 ng/ml640 ng/ml642 ng/ml644 ng/ml646 ng/ml648 ng/ml650 ng/ml652 ng/ml
654 ng/ml656 ng/ml658 ng/ml660 ng/ml662 ng/ml664 ng/ml666 ng/ml668 ng/ml
670 ng/ml672 ng/ml674 ng/ml676 ng/ml678 ng/ml680 ng/ml682 ng/ml684 ng/ml
686 ng/ml688 ng/ml690 ng/ml692 ng/ml694 ng/ml696 ng/ml698 ng/ml700 ng/ml
702 ng/ml704 ng/ml706 ng/ml708 ng/ml710 ng/ml712 ng/ml714 ng/ml716 ng/ml
718 ng/ml720 ng/ml722 ng/ml724 ng/ml726 ng/ml728 ng/ml730 ng/ml732 ng/ml
734 ng/ml736 ng/ml738 ng/ml740 ng/ml742 ng/ml744 ng/ml746 ng/ml748 ng/ml
750 ng/ml752 ng/ml754 ng/ml756 ng/ml758 ng/ml760 ng/ml762 ng/ml764 ng/ml
766 ng/ml768 ng/ml770 ng/ml772 ng/ml774 ng/ml776 ng/ml778 ng/ml780 ng/ml
782 ng/ml784 ng/ml786 ng/ml788 ng/ml790 ng/ml792 ng/ml794 ng/ml796 ng/ml
798 ng/ml800 ng/ml802 ng/ml804 ng/ml806 ng/ml808 ng/ml810 ng/ml812 ng/ml
814 ng/ml816 ng/ml818 ng/ml820 ng/ml822 ng/ml824 ng/ml826 ng/ml828 ng/ml
830 ng/ml832 ng/ml834 ng/ml836 ng/ml838 ng/ml840 ng/ml842 ng/ml844 ng/ml
846 ng/ml848 ng/ml850 ng/ml852 ng/ml854 ng/ml856 ng/ml858 ng/ml860 ng/ml
862 ng/ml864 ng/ml866 ng/ml868 ng/ml870 ng/ml872 ng/ml874 ng/ml876 ng/ml
878 ng/ml880 ng/ml882 ng/ml884 ng/ml886 ng/ml888 ng/ml890 ng/ml892 ng/ml
894 ng/ml896 ng/ml898 ng/ml900 ng/ml902 ng/ml904 ng/ml906 ng/ml908 ng/ml
910 ng/ml912 ng/ml914 ng/ml916 ng/ml918 ng/ml920 ng/ml922 ng/ml924 ng/ml
926 ng/ml928 ng/ml930 ng/ml932 ng/ml934 ng/ml936 ng/ml938 ng/ml940 ng/ml
942 ng/ml944 ng/ml946 ng/ml948 ng/ml950 ng/ml952 ng/ml954 ng/ml956 ng/ml
958 ng/ml960 ng/ml962 ng/ml964 ng/ml966 ng/ml968 ng/ml970 ng/ml972 ng/ml
974 ng/ml976 ng/ml978 ng/ml980 ng/ml982 ng/ml984 ng/ml986 ng/ml988 ng/ml
990 ng/ml992 ng/ml994 ng/ml996 ng/ml998 ng/ml1000 ng/ml  
Marked hyperferretinemia
1002 ng/ml1004 ng/ml1006 ng/ml1008 ng/ml1010 ng/ml1012 ng/ml1014 ng/ml1016 ng/ml
1018 ng/ml1020 ng/ml1022 ng/ml1024 ng/ml1026 ng/ml1028 ng/ml1030 ng/ml1032 ng/ml
1034 ng/ml1036 ng/ml1038 ng/ml1040 ng/ml1042 ng/ml1044 ng/ml1046 ng/ml1048 ng/ml
1050 ng/ml1052 ng/ml1054 ng/ml1056 ng/ml1058 ng/ml1060 ng/ml1062 ng/ml1064 ng/ml
1066 ng/ml1068 ng/ml1070 ng/ml1072 ng/ml1074 ng/ml1076 ng/ml1078 ng/ml1080 ng/ml
1082 ng/ml1084 ng/ml1086 ng/ml1088 ng/ml1090 ng/ml1092 ng/ml1094 ng/ml1096 ng/ml
1098 ng/ml1100 ng/ml1102 ng/ml1104 ng/ml1106 ng/ml1108 ng/ml1110 ng/ml1112 ng/ml
1114 ng/ml1116 ng/ml1118 ng/ml1120 ng/ml1122 ng/ml1124 ng/ml1126 ng/ml1128 ng/ml
1130 ng/ml1132 ng/ml1134 ng/ml1136 ng/ml1138 ng/ml1140 ng/ml1142 ng/ml1144 ng/ml
1146 ng/ml1148 ng/ml1150 ng/ml1152 ng/ml1154 ng/ml1156 ng/ml1158 ng/ml1160 ng/ml
1162 ng/ml1164 ng/ml1166 ng/ml1168 ng/ml1170 ng/ml1172 ng/ml1174 ng/ml1176 ng/ml
1178 ng/ml1180 ng/ml1182 ng/ml1184 ng/ml1186 ng/ml1188 ng/ml1190 ng/ml1192 ng/ml
1194 ng/ml1196 ng/ml1198 ng/ml1200 ng/ml1202 ng/ml1204 ng/ml1206 ng/ml1208 ng/ml
1210 ng/ml1212 ng/ml1214 ng/ml1216 ng/ml1218 ng/ml1220 ng/ml1222 ng/ml1224 ng/ml
Medically reviewed by Javier Muga Bustamante Ph.D. on 20/04/2020


  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 520. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 39.

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