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The epidemiology of hyperferritinaemia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah Hearnshaw, Dr Nicholas Thompson


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AIM: To discover the causes of markedly raised ferritin levels in patients seen at a teaching hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. METHODS: Demographic and medical data were collected for all patients over 18 years who had a serum ferritin levels recorded as >= 1500 mu g/L during the period January to September 2002. The cause or causes for their hyperferritinaemia were identified from their medical notes. Patients from a defined local population were identified. RESULTS: A total of 19 583 measurements were provided of which 406 from 199 patients were >= 1500 mu g/L. An annual incidence for the local population was determined to be 0.44/1000. 150/199 medical notes were scrutinised and 81 patients were identified as having a single cause for their raised ferritin level. The most common single cause was alcoholic liver disease in the local population and renal failure was the most common single cause in the overall population. Confirmed hereditary haemochromatosis was the 10(th) most common cause. Liver disease contributed to hyperferritinaemia in 44% of the patients. Weight loss may have contributed to hyperferritinaemia in up to 11%. CONCLUSION: Alcohol related liver disease, haematological disease, renal failure and neoplasia are much more common causes of marked hyperferritinaemia than haemochromatosis. The role of weight loss in hyperferritinaemia may warrant further investigation. (C) 2006 The WJG Press. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hearnshaw S, Thompson NP, McGill A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology

Year: 2006

Volume: 12

Issue: 36

Pages: 5866-5869

ISSN (print): 1007-9327

ISSN (electronic): 1009-3079

Publisher: WJG Press