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Hereditary hemochromatosis: patient experiences of the disease and phlebotomy treatment.

Abstract : Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a genetic disorder resulting in increased accumulation of dietary iron. It is associated with various clinical complications such as liver cirrhosis and diabetes. The aim of this study was to explore patients' experiences of living with HH, the diagnosis process, and phlebotomy treatment. An online survey was developed and completed by a total of 210 HH patients across the United States (n = 70), France (n = 50), Ireland (n = 40), and the United Kingdom (n = 50). Of the 210 patients, 30% were induction patients, 49% were maintenance patients, and 22% had never received phlebotomy. The most common route to diagnosis was by chance (42%), although most patients (87%) reported experiencing symptoms they now associated with HH at the time of diagnosis. Fatigue (60%) and joint pain (50%) were the most frequently reported current symptoms. While 87% of patients felt that treatment with phlebotomy was "quite worthwhile" or "very worthwhile," 52% of induction patients and 37% of maintenance patients experienced side effects "always" or "most of the time" after phlebotomy and 16% of patients would "definitely" or "probably" decide not to receive phlebotomy if alternative options were available. Diagnosis of HH is likely made late in many patients and subsequent phlebotomy treatment, while considered worthwhile by most, leads to concerns over side effects and inconvenience, often impacting patients' lives. Greater efforts to promote awareness of the disease and reduce the treatment burden associated with phlebotomy are required to improve detection and management of this disease.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 1:16:34 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:21:01 AM

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Pierre Brissot, Simon Ball, Diana Rofail, Helena Cannon, Vivian Wu Jin. Hereditary hemochromatosis: patient experiences of the disease and phlebotomy treatment.. Transfusion, Wiley, 2011, 51 (6), pp.1331-8. ⟨10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02997.x⟩. ⟨hal-01134841⟩



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