Introduction: Disordered iron balance and abnormal parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations, both prevalent in hemodialysis patients, are risk factors of erythropoietin (EPO) resistance. Few studies have evaluated the correlation between iron indices and PTH and the potential role of iron markers on the association of PTH with EPO resistance in hemodialysis population. Methods: In this cross-sectional study of 71 maintenance hemodialysis patients, iron indices including hepcidin, ferritin, reticulocyte hemoglobin content (CHr), and transferrin saturation (TSAT) were examined. EPO responsiveness was measured as EPO resistance index (ERI). Lowess regression curves were performed to explore the correlations of iron indices, PTH, and ERI. The association between PTH and ERI was modeled using linear regressions. Potential role of iron indices on this association was examined using stratified analyses and mediation analyses. Results: The average ERI value was 10.3 ± 5.3 IU w−1 kg−1 (g/dL) −1. ERI was correlated to PTH, hepcidin, CHr, and TSAT (all p < 0.05). Hepcidin and PTH were closely correlated with each other (r = 0.28, p = 0.020). Analysis by PTH categories yielded a total association effect of 2.53 (95% CI: 0.27–4.85, p = 0.027) for high PTH subgroup versus the reference low subgroup. No clinically significant interaction between iron indexes and PTH was identified. Hepcidin appeared to mediate about one-third of the total association between PTH and ERI in hemodialysis population (33.6%, p = 0.025). Conclusion: Iron indices and PTH levels were related to ERI values. Hepcidin appeared to be closely correlated to PTH and partly mediate the association between PTH and ERI in hemodialysis population.

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