Prevalence of genetic haemochromatosis among diabetic patients

Lancet. 1989 Jul 29;2(8657):233-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)90426-1.

Abstract

Since diabetes mellitus is a frequent manifestation of haemochromatosis the prevalence of the disease was investigated in 418 patients attending a diabetic clinic. 21 (5%) patients had a persistently high serum ferritin (men, over 400 micrograms/l; women, over 300 micrograms/l) and 5 of these had transferrin saturations consistently over 55%. Idiopathic haemochromatosis was confirmed by liver biopsy in 4 patients, all of whom had a hepatic iron index greater than 2.0. The prevalence rate of previously unrecognised idiopathic haemochromatosis was thus 9.6 per 1000 (general population prevalence 1 in 250), suggesting that screening of diabetic patients for this genetic disease may be more cost-effective than screening in the general population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Hemochromatosis / complications*
  • Hemochromatosis / epidemiology
  • Hemochromatosis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • South Australia

Substances

  • Ferritins