Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study of iron overload yields surprising results

28.04.2005


Early results of the largest and most diverse screening study of a genetic condition that causes too much iron to build up in the body show that Asians and Pacific Islanders have the highest mean levels of iron in their blood of all ethnic groups involved, including African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Native Americans.



Hemochromatosis, one of the most common inherited disorders among Caucasians, can lead to iron overload, or a buildup of iron in the body’s organs. This extra iron, which can be easily treated if detected early, can increase the risk of diabetes, arthritis, sexual dysfunction, liver disease and liver cancer and heart disease.

When the study is completed, researchers hope to have answers to the key questions that will help policymakers decide whom should be screened for hemochromatosis and iron overload, when should they be screened, and what screening methods should be used.


At the start of the study in 1999, it was known that most cases of hemochromatosis in Caucasians result from a mutation in the hemochromotosis (HFE) gene. The mutation, known as C282Y, was first discovered in 1996. Little was known about iron overload in other racial and ethnic groups.

Surprisingly, results of the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening Study (HEIRS) show that Asians and Pacific Islanders had the highest blood iron levels but the lowest prevalence of HFE mutations. The full results of the screening study appear in the April 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine was the coordinating center for the study, which recruited more than 100,000 participants in primary care settings and seven blood drawing laboratories in the United States and Canada.

The five-year study is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Other major findings of the study include the following:

Caucasians had the highest prevalence of the C282Y mutation in both copies of their HFE gene (4.4 per 1,000 people). Though this is the gene combination most likely the result in hemochromatosis, the risk of developing symptoms is less than 60 percent.
The prevalence rates of this combination in other ethnic groups were: Native Americans (1.1 per 1,000), Hispanics (2.7 per 10,000), African Americans (1.4 per 10,000), Pacific Islanders (1.2 per 10,000), and Asians (3.9 per 10 million).
Most participants with the C282Y/C282Y combination had elevated levels of iron in the blood. Men with this genotype were more likely to report a history of liver disease than participants without HFE mutations.

"Our findings help us better understand the prevalence of these conditions in other ethnic groups," said David Reboussin, Ph.D., associate professor of biostatistics at Wake Forest’s School of Medicine. "The result that really surprised us was the finding that Asians and Pacific Islanders had the highest levels of iron in the blood, even though they had the lowest prevalence of the genotype most often associated with hemochromatosis."

Reboussin said it’s possible that Asians and Pacific Islanders may have a different genetic mutation that has not yet been discovered, or perhaps they have high levels of iron, but not hemochromatosis. He said that later phases of the study, which involve a more detailed study visit and follow-up data on these participants from their primary care physicians, will answer these important questions.

The HEIRS study is being conducted at five field centers in the United States and Canada: Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Northwest and Hawaii (Portland, Ore., and Honolulu, Hawaii), London Health Sciences Centre (London and Toronto, Ontario), University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of California, Irvine.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>