Haemochromatosis genotype and iron overload: association with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy

J Intern Med. 2010 Sep;268(3):252-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02217.x. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Objective: We hypothesized that there is an association between haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and/or iron overload and risk of hypertension and/or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).

Methods: We analysed data from a cross-sectional study of the general population including 8992 individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS), a follow-up study of 36,480 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study (CGPS), and a case-only study of 3815 Scandinavians from the Losartan Intervention For End-point Reduction in Hypertension Genetic Substudy (LIFEGEN) with LVH and hypertension.

Results: In the CCHS, individuals with C282Y/C282Y versus wild type/wild type had an odds ratio for antihypertensive medication use of 4.8 (1.8-13; P = 0.003). In the CGPS, the corresponding hazard ratio was 1.7 (1.0-2.3; P = 0.003). Also, hazard ratios for antihypertensive medication use in the CGPS were 1.6 (1.0-2.6; P = 0.05) for transferrin saturation > or =80% vs. <50%, and 2.3 (1.3-4.2; P = 0.005) for C282Y/C282Y + transferrin saturation > or =80% vs. wild type/wild type + transferrin saturation <50%. These results were most pronounced in men above 55 years of age. We did not find any association between C282Y/C282Y or iron overload and LVH or hypertension (measured as blood pressure at a single occasion or continuous blood pressure), or LVH with hypertension in the CCHS or with severity of LVH in LIFEGEN.

Conclusions: We found that haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and extremely elevated transferrin saturation either separately or combined were associated with increased risk of antihypertensive medication use. Therefore, testing for haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and extreme transferrin saturation could be considered in patients with essential hypertension.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • Hemochromatosis / blood
  • Hemochromatosis / complications*
  • Hemochromatosis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / etiology*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / genetics
  • Iron Overload / complications*
  • Iron Overload / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transferrin / analysis


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Transferrin