Haemochromatosis is one of the most common hereditary diseases, with 1 in 200 people having a genetic predisposition to this disease. Haemochromatosis can be non-hereditary, typically secondary to blood transfusions, but hereditary haemochromatosis accounts for the majority of cases. Patients with haemochromatosis have impaired iron metabolism, which can lead to the accumulation of body iron. If left untreated some of these patients would develop iron overload. The excess iron is deposited in vital organs, causing irreversible tissue damage to the liver, heart, joints, pancreas and endocrine glands. This can result in serious conditions including hepatic cirrhosis and carcinoma, heart failure, arthropathies, Type 2 diabetes and impotence.
Complications of HHC are preventable through early diagnosis, monitoring of iron level, and reducing excess iron load through regular blood donation or therapeutic venesection.
This disease is being researched in the following projects: