Who is affected by hemochromatosis

Hereditary hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders in white people, especially those of Northern European descent. In this group of people, about 3 to 5 out of 1,000 have the genes for hemochromatosis. But not everyone with the genes will get symptoms of the disease.1

Men are more likely than women to develop hemochromatosis. The blood lost through menstruation and pregnancy may reduce the amount of iron stored in the body and cause delayed hemochromatosis symptoms in women.


  1. Powell LW (2008). Hemochromatosis. In AS Fauci et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2429–2433. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.

Last Updated: April 20, 2009

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