Identification of Hemochromatosis Gene Polymorphisms in Chronically Transfused Patients with Sickle Cell Diseases

Michael R. Jeng, Patricia Adams-Graves, Thad A. Howard, Matthew R. Whorton, Chin Shang Li, Russell E. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Three polymorphic gene mutations in the human hemochromatosis (HFE) gene (C282Y, H63D, S65C) are associated with non-transfusion-related iron overload in Caucasians. More recently, these mutations have also been identified in African-Americans. However, the prevalence of HFE gene mutations in African-Americans with sickle cell disease (SCD) has not been described. The presence of these mutations in this population is particularly important, because patients with SCD may be placed on chronic red cell transfusion therapy and are thus at further risk for iron overload. Thus, we attempted to establish the gene mutation prevalence in African-Americans with SCD, to compare this frequency with published gene frequencies in African-Americans, and to evaluate their significance with regard to transfusion-related iron overload. Eighty-nine African-American patients with SCD, all of whom were receiving chronic red cell transfusion therapy, were screened by DNA analysis for the three HFE gene mutations. Two patients were heterozygous for the C282Y HFE mutation (2.3%), six were heterozygous for the H63D mutation (6.8%), none carried the S65C mutation (0.0%), and no homozygous or compound heterozygous subjects were identified. The prevalence of C282Y and H63D in the SCD population was similar to that observed in the general African-American population. In addition, there was no increased mutation prevalence when comparing those SCD patients on chronic transfusion therapy who had ferritin levels greater than 2,500 ng/mL and those less than 2,500 ng/mL. This study represents the first identification of the known HFE gene mutations by DNA analysis in the SCD population. We conclude that the presence of recognized HFE coding region mutations do not seem to have an impact on the degree of iron overload in patients with SCD receiving chronic transfusion therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemochromatosis
  • Iron overload
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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