What is hemochromatosis?
Hereditary hemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in the western world, with 1 in 9 people of European ancestry carrying one of the HFE mutations linked to hemochromatosis. 1 in 200 Europeans inherit two defective HFE genes, (one from from each parent), and are at increased risk of absorbing too much iron from their diet. This excess iron is unable to be excreted, and accumulates in organs and tissues, eventually causing organ damage and serious health complications. If detected early, this disorder is treatable and the health complications can be avoided.
This genetic analysis identifies the most common HFE mutations that cause hereditary hemochromatosis:
These mutations are the most common hemochromatosis-causing mutations in individuals of Northern European ancestry. C282Y is associated with the most severe symptoms, and it’s origins can be traced back to the Vikings.