HFE Gene Mutations and Iron Status in 100 Healthy Polish Children

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Iron participates in oxygen transport, energetic, metabolic, and immunologic processes. There are 2 main causes of iron overload: hereditary hemochromatosis which is a primary cause, is a metabolic disorder caused by mutations of genes that control iron metabolism and secondary hemochromatosis caused by multitransfusions, chronic hemolysis, and intake of iron rich food. The most common type of hereditary hemochromatosis is caused by HFE gene mutation. In this study, we analyzed iron metabolism in 100 healthy Polish children in relation to their HFE gene status. The wild-type HFE gene was predominant being observed in 60 children (60%). Twenty-five children (25%), presented with heterozygotic H63D mutation, and 15 children (15%), presented with other mutations (heterozygotic C282Y and S65C mutation, compound heterozygotes C282Y/S65C, C282Y/H63D, H63D homozygote). The mean concentration of iron, the level of ferritin, and transferrin saturation were statistically higher in the group of HFE variants compared with the wild-type group. H63D carriers presented with higher mean concentration of iron, ferritin levels, and transferrin saturation compared with the wild-type group. Male HFE carriers presented with higher iron concentration, transferrin saturation, and ferritin levels than females. This preliminary investigation demonstrates allelic impact on potential disease progression from childhood.

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