Basic Summary for Hemochromatosis

Main name of condition: Hemochromatosis
Other names or spellings: Iron Overload, Haemochromatosis, bronze diabetes, HHC

What is Hemochromatosis?
  Brief description of Hemochromatosis: Excess of iron leading to problems with joints, liver, heart and pancreas.
  Parent types of Hemochromatosis: Liver conditions, Chronic liver disease, Rheumatic conditions, Systemic disorders, Heart conditions, Blood conditions, Pancreas conditions, Under-diagnosed conditions
  Organs Affected by Hemochromatosis: blood, heart, liver, pancreas, joints
  Types of Hemochromatosis: Hereditary Hemochromatosis, Juvenile hemochromatosis, Neonatal hemochromatosis
How many people get Hemochromatosis?
  Prevalance of Hemochromatosis: more than 1 million Americans (CDC); 5 per 1000 in Caucasians (NIDDK); 1-in-200 to 1-in-300
  Prevalance Rate of Hemochromatosis: approx 1 in 272 or 0.37% or 1 million people in USA [about data]
  Undiagnosed prevalence of Hemochromatosis: 1.5 million Americans (Hemochromatosis Foundation)
  Undiagnosed prevalence rate of Hemochromatosis: approx 1 in 181 or 0.55% or 1.5 million people in USA [about data]
  Prevalance of Hemochromatosis: About 5 people in 1,000 (0.5 percent) of the U.S. Caucasian population carry two copies of the hemochromatosis gene and are susceptible to developing the disease. 1
Who gets Hemochromatosis?
  Profile for Hemochromatosis: Hemochromatosis is less common in African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians.

Men are about five times more likely to be diagnosed with hemochromatosis than women. Men also tend to develop problems from the excess iron at a younger age. 1
  Gender Profile for Hemochromatosis: Men 5 times more likely, and men get it earlier

How serious is Hemochromatosis?
  Deaths for Hemochromatosis: 238 deaths (NHLBI 1999)
  Complications of Hemochromatosis: see complications of Hemochromatosis
What causes Hemochromatosis?
  Cause of Hemochromatosis: There are several causes of haemochromotosis. However, the most common is a genetic defect (hereditary hemochromatosis) that is inherited from family history and thus you have it at birth. However, family members won't necessarily have it themselves, but be silent "carriers" who have some of the genes. Some people end up with the right mixture of genes and get HHC. But some people who even have the right (i.e. wrong) mixture of genes, still don't get HHC.
  Causes of Hemochromatosis: Healthy people usually absorb about 10 percent of the iron contained in the food they eat. People with hemochromatosis absorb about 20 percent. The body has no natural way to rid itself of excess iron, so extra iron is stored in body tissues, especially the liver, heart, and pancreas. 1
  Causes of Hemochromatosis: see causes of Hemochromatosis
  Risk factors for Hemochromatosis: see risk factors for Hemochromatosis
What are the symptoms of Hemochromatosis?
  Symptoms of Hemochromatosis: see symptoms of Hemochromatosis
How is it treated?
  Specialists for Hemochromatosis: Hepatologist, Gastroenterologist, Hematologist, Endocrinologist, Cardiologist, Rheumatologist
  Treatments for Hemochromatosis: see treatments for Hemochromatosis
  Prevention of Hemochromatosis: see prevention of Hemochromatosis
  Research for Hemochromatosis: see research for Hemochromatosis

1. excerpt from Hemochromatosis: NIDDK

Last revision: May 28, 2003
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