Genetic haemochromatosis: diagnosis and treatment of an iron overload disorder
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Genetic haemochromatosis: diagnosis and treatment of an iron overload disorder

Martin Johnson Professor emeritus, School of Health and Society Nursing, University of Salford, Salford, England
Gerri Mortimore Associate Professor in post-registration health care, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Derby, Derby, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To increase your awareness and understanding of genetic haemochromatosis, an iron overload disorder

  • To recognise the signs and symptoms of genetic haemochromatosis

  • To enhance your ability to support patients who require life-long treatment for genetic haemochromatosis

Genetic haemochromatosis is a potentially serious iron overload disorder, yet there is a lack of awareness of the condition among the public and many healthcare professionals. In the UK, around one in 150 people have the genetic mutations that cause the condition, meaning that they are at increased risk of developing iron overload. If undiagnosed, prolonged iron overload can lead to liver, heart and endocrine failure and may be fatal; however, early diagnosis, treatment and maintenance can enable patients to have a normal lifespan. This article provides an overview of genetic haemochromatosis, including its types, origins, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, screening and treatment.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11896

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Johnson M, Mortimore G (2022) Genetic haemochromatosis: diagnosis and treatment of an iron overload disorder. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11896

Published online: 20 September 2022

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