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Health check-ups and family screening allow detection of hereditary hemochromatosis with less advanced liver fibrosis and survival comparable with the general population
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm , Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
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2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, ISSN 0036-5521, Vol. 46, no 9, 1118-1126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. The information concerning the morbidity and mortality of hereditary hemochromatosis is based primarily on clinical cohorts of symptomatic patients. The major aim of this study was to analyze the long-term prognosis for Swedish patients with this condition, with respect to both clinical features and survival, in relation to the route by which the disease was detected.

Patients and methods. 373 patients with hemochromatosis detected through routine health checkups (n = 153), family screening (n = 44), symptoms of arthralgia (n = 23), investigation of other diseases/symptoms (n = 108) or signs of liver disease (n = 45) were monitored for a mean period of 11.9 +/- 5.8 years. The degree of liver fibrosis and survival were analyzed.

Results. Overall survival among these patients was not significantly different from that of a matched normal population. The patients diagnosed through health check-ups and family screening were detected at an earlier age and had the highest rate of survival. Liver biopsy at the time of diagnosis revealed cirrhosis in 9% of those detected through the health check-ups and 5% in the case of family screening, compared with 13% for the group with arthralgia, 17% for other diseases/symptoms and 42% for liver disease.

Conclusion. Health check-ups and family screening allow detection of hereditary hemochromatosis at an earlier age and with less advanced liver fibrosis, although a few of these patients have already developed cirrhosis. Our study indicates that iron indices should be included in health check-ups, and if abnormal, should lead to further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 46, no 9, 1118-1126 p.
Keyword [en]
Arthralgia, cirrhosis, family screening, health checks, mortality
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-158154DOI: 10.3109/00365521.2011.591426ISI: 000293741900014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-158154DiVA: diva2:438807
Available from: 2011-09-05 Created: 2011-09-01 Last updated: 2011-09-05Bibliographically approved

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