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April 1998 Issue

Don't Let Iron Overload Hide Behind Other Diseases

Q. Should I be tested for iron over-load as part of my regular physical? A. Yes. It's becoming increasingly clear that hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload disease) is more common than many doctors think it is. The good news is that screening may avert the complications that can occur if diagnosis is delayed. That's the conclusion of two recent reports from Europe. In hemochromatosis, a faulty gene disrupts iron metabolism, causing excess absorption of

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