Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a common genetic disorder of iron metabolism which can affect multiple vital organs. Proper diagnosis, which can be accomplished by laboratory and genetic testing, is important in order to separate HH from other causes of iron overload. If adequate phlebotomy treatment is instituted early in its course, life expectancy is close to normal.
Understanding the clinical features and laboratory testing, as well as recognizing possible signs of organ damage, is key to appropriate risk assessment.
Reprinted with permission of ON THE RISK, Journal of the Academy of Life Underwriting (www.ontherisk.com).