Hemochromatosis. By: Matthew Casello. Definition. Too much iron in the body Referred to as “Iron Overload ”. Statistics.
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Most common genetic disorder in the United States. It effects 33.5 million Americans where 32 million are silent carriers. That leads 1.5 million people with the expressed homozygous gene. (Center for Disease Control)
Primary (most common form)- Genetic disorder passed down where too much iron is absorbed in the digestive track. Iron builds up in the vascular organs of the body especially the liver. A C282Y mutation in the HFE gene.
Secondary (acquired)- not very common but occurs when someone has to many blood transfusions or alcoholism.
It is believed that Hemochromatosis’s origin dates back 40,000 years from a single person in Ireland. This person’s genes mutated so that he/she could over-absorb iron to compensate for an iron poor diet.
Irish, Scottish and British heritage have higher chances of carrying the mutated gene.