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
This is also available as a print-friendly
Adobe Acrobat document
Using Family-Based Detection to Identify People at Risk For
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
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 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
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
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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