, Volume 175, Issue 1, pp 32-36

The Celtic coincidence — the frequency and clinical characterisation of hereditary haemochromatosis in patients with coeliac disease

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Abstract

Background

Hereditary Haemochromatosis (HH) and Coeliac disease (CD) are common disorders in Northern European populations, particularly the Irish population.

Aims

To investigate whether there was increased frequency of the two commonHFE gene mutations, C282Y and H63D, associated with HH amongst a cohort of CD patients, and to determine the penetrance of the HH associated genotypes in this cohort.

Methods

HFE genotypes of a cohort of CD patients were determined using standard PCR techniques.HFE allele frequencies were compared to those of a previously reported, ethnically similar, cohort of 800 neonates, using Fishers exact test. Patients with HH-associated genotypes were subsequently evaluated.

Results

The C282Y and H63D allele frequencies, 24/222 (11%) and 28/222 (13%) respectively, in the CD patients were similar to those of the neonatal group, 171/1600 (11%) and 242/1600 (15%). Eight patients had HH-associated genotypes, of which two demonstrated biochemical evidence of iron overload.

Conclusion

TheHFE mutations associated with Hereditary Haemochromatosis are not more common in Irish CD patients.