, Volume 83, Issue 10, pp 654-657
Date: 13 May 2004

Frequency of the C282Y and H63D mutations of the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) in 2501 ethnic Danes

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess the frequency of the C282Y and H63D mutations of the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) in ethnic Danes. The series comprised 2501 subjects (1284 men) of Danish heritage who were drawn at random from the Census Registry in age cohorts of 30, 40, 50, and 60 years. The frequency of the C282Y and H63D mutations was assessed on blood samples by genotyping using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. The HFE genotype distribution was in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (p=0.85). C282Y mutation: 9 subjects (0.36%) were homozygous and 265 subjects (10.6%) were heterozygous. H63D mutation: 40 subjects (1.6%) were homozygous and 584 subjects (23.4%) were heterozygous. C282Y/H63D compound heterozygosity was found in 36 subjects (1.4%). The C282Y allele frequency was 5.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 5.0–6.3%] and the H63D allele frequency was 13.3% (95% CI 12.3–14.2%). In conclusion, the C282Y frequency is relatively high in the Danes, being close to the frequency in other Scandinavian countries, i.e., Iceland 5.1%, the Faroe Islands 6.6%, and Sweden 5.7%, but significantly lower than in Norway 6.6% (p=0.02). Also, the H63D frequency in Danes is close to and not significantly different from the frequency in Iceland 10.9%, Norway 11.2%, and Sweden 12.4%, but significantly lower than in the Faroe Islands 15.4% (p=0.046).