Classic Hereditary Hemochromatosis
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NORD is very grateful to Paul Adams, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Synonyms of Classic Hereditary Hemochromatosis
- bronze diabetes
- classic hemochromatosis
- hemochromatosis type I
- HFE-related hemochromatosis
- primary hemochromatosis
- No subdivisions found.
Hereditary hemochromatosis is a general term for several rare genetic disorders that are characterized by the accumulation of iron in various organs of the body such as the liver, heart and pancreas. The abnormally stored iron can damage affected organs, potentially causing a variety of different symptoms. The most common form of hemochromatosis is known by several different names including hemochromatosis type I, HFE-related hemochromatosis, hereditary hemochromatosis and classic hereditary hemochromatosis. Iron accumulation in classic hereditary hemochromatosis occurs slowly over many years. Eventually, iron accumulation causes tissue damage and impaired functioning of affected organs. In many cases, symptoms may not become apparent until some point between 40-60 years of age. Onset is usually earlier for men compared to women. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, and unintended weight loss. Without treatment, classic hereditary hemochromatosis can progress to cause serious, life-threatening complications including failure of affected organs.
There are several different disorders associated with excess iron accumulation in the body. Collectively, these different disorders are grouped under the name iron overload disorders. These disorders are caused by mutations to different genes and have different clinical presentations. Classic hereditary hemochromatosis is caused by mutations of the HFE gene. This report primarily deals with classic hereditary hemochromatosis caused by mutation of the HFE gene.
Organizations related to Classic Hereditary Hemochromatosis
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