Effect of Hemochromatosis Genotype and Lifestyle Factors on Iron and Red Cell Indices in a Community Population

E. Rossi, Mahesh Bulsara, John Olynyk, D.J. Cullen, L. Summerville, L. Powell

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Background: Heterozygotes for the C282Y mutation of the HFE gene may have altered hematology indices and higher iron stores than wild-type subjects.Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 1488 females and 1522 males 20-79 years of age drawn from the Busselton (Australia) population study to assess the effects of HFE genotype, age, gender, and lifestyle on serum iron and hematology indices.Results: Male C282Y heterozygotes had increased transferrin saturation compared with the wild-type genotype. Neither male nor female heterozygotes had significantly increased ferritin values compared with the wild-type genotype. Younger (20-29 years) wild-type males, but not heterozygous males, had significantly lower ferritin values than wild-type males in the older age groups. Compound heterozygous subjects had increased means for serum iron, transferrin saturation, corpuscular volume, and corpuscular hemoglobin compared with the wild-type genotype, and the males also had increased ferritin values (medians 323 vs 177 mug/L; P = 0.003). In both male and female wild-type subjects, an increased body mass index was associated with decreased serum iron and transferrin saturation and increased ferritin values. There was a significant increase in ferritin concentrations in both genders with increasing frequency of red meat consumption above a baseline of 1-2 times per week and alcohol intakes >10 g/day.Conclusions: Male C282Y heterozygotes had significantly increased transferrin saturation values. Compound heterozygous (C282Y/H63D) subjects formed a separate category of C282Y heterozygotes in whom both iron and red cell indices were significantly increased compared with the wild-type genotype. (C) 2001 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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