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Iron Overload and Hemochromatosis: CDC Team Activities — Education, Research, and Partnerships


Hemochromatosis: What Every Clinician and Health Care Professional Needs to Know is an online training course developed by the CDC, in collaboration with hemochromatosis experts throughout the United States. The course includes information on epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with iron overload and hemochromatosis. As of November 2005, more than 500 professionals have received continuing education credits.

Hemochromatosis: Information and Resources for Health Care Providers
This chapter provides an overview of the current CDC public health strategy for increasing awareness and early detection of hemochromatosis.
Reyes M, Dunet D, Blanck HM, Grossniklaus D. CDC, Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention. Genomics and Population Health: United States, 2003. Atlanta, GA; 2004.

Hemochromatosis: Information for Patients
Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Disease. This brochures answers many questions patients and their families may have aout the condition.
This is also available as a print-friendly Adobe Acrobat documentPDF file (PDF-247K)


Using Family-Based Detection to Identify People at Risk For Hemochromatosis
In late 2005, CDC completed a 2-year study to understand family-based detection as a public health strategy to identify people at risk for hemochromatosis. This qualitative study assessed barriers and facilitators of risk communication among 60 hemochromatosis patients, 25 siblings, and 10 physicians. Results are currently being analyzed and will be available in late fall 2006. Please check back at that time.

Effect of Consuming Iron Supplements on Body Iron Status
CDC researchers analyzed data from a national health survey of 6,000 Americans and concluded that older men and women who consumed more than 32 mg of iron daily (either from multivitamins containing iron or from iron supplements) had higher body iron stores than those who took less than 25 mg of iron daily. This research suggests that iron supplement users should be made aware of the amount of iron necessary to satisfy dietary requirements and informed of the possible influence that excess iron intake can have on body iron stores and health.

Blanck HM, Cogswell ME, Gillespie C, Reyes M. Use of Iron supplements and iron status: results from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 2005;82:1024–1030.

A Comparison Study to Assess the Comparability of Results For Serum Iron and Iron-Binding Capacity Assays From Different Laboratories
In 1997, a CDC panel of hemochromatosis experts recommended that transferrin saturation (a measure calculated from both serum iron and iron-binding capacity) be used as the initial test for diagnosing hemochromatosis. In response, CDC researchers conducted a study to assess the comparability of test results from different laboratories. Analysis of data from 25 laboratories (22 in the United States and 3 in Europe) determined there was good agreement between different testing methods with better results for total iron-binding capacity than for another approach, unsaturated iron-binding capacity. In addition, laboratories using copper correction and true protein removal measured iron more accurately than other laboratories.

Blanck HM, Pfeiffer CM, Caudill SP, Reyes M, Gunter EW, Imperatore G, Van Assendelft OW, Strider S, Dearth T. Serum iron and iron-binding capacity A round robin interlaboratory comparison study. Clin Chem. 2003;49:1672–1675.*

Choosing a Biomarker to Assess Nutritional Status
A CDC review document to help professionals use and interpret nutritional biomarkers in public health research.

Blanck HM, Bowman BA, Cooper GR, Myers G, Miller DT. Laboratory issues: use of nutritional biomarkers. J Nutr 2003;133:888S–894S. *


Iron Disorders Institute (IDI)*
IDI is a national voluntary health agency (nonprofit organization) that provides patient services, books, and literature about hemochromatosis and other disorders of iron.

American Liver Foundation (ALF)*
The American Liver Foundation is the nation's leading nonprofit organization promoting liver health and disease prevention. ALF provides research, education and advocacy for those affected by hepatitis and other liver-related diseases.

For general information on iron overload and hemochromatosis, questions or comments, please contact the CDC at

Hemochromatosis Team Mission Statement
CDC’s Hemochromatosis Team provides public health leadership for reducing chronic disease related to hemochromatosis through research, education, science-based recommendations, and partnerships.

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*Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

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Hemochromatosis: What Every Clinician and Health Care Professional Needs to Know
Hemochromatosis: What Every Clinician and
Health Care Professional Needs to Know

Cover of Iron Overload and Hemocromatosis Brochure:  Information for Patients and Their Families
Iron overload and Hemochromatosis
Information for Patients and Family


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Thank you for visiting the CDC-NCBDDD Web site. Click here to contact the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

We are not able to answer personal medical questions. Please see your health care provider concerning appropriate care, treatment, or other medical advice.

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Date last reviewed: 11/01/2007
Content source: Division of Hereditary Blood Disorders, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
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