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Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2007 Mar;115(3):192-7.

Glucose metabolism, insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in juvenile hemochromatosis. A case report and review of the literature.

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Endocrine Department, Hippokrateion Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Among specific diabetes subtypes secondary to pancreatopathies, hereditary hemochromatosis is an inherited disorder of iron metabolism resulting in excessive iron overload and tissue damage in various organs. We here report the case of a man with the young-onset form of the disease and describe his glycaemic status before and during venesection therapy. A 25-year old man visited our clinic in Athens, Greece, with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism due to hereditary hemochromatosis. Genetic analysis revealed that he was suffering from the juvenile aggressive form and treatment was initiated with frequent phlebotomies in conjunction with androgen substitution. Within 18 months of therapy ferritin level was normalized and hypogonadism was fully restored. Despite severe iron overload, glucose tolerance remained normal during the various stages of the disease, although alterations in both insulin secretion and sensitivity were detected. Present data indicate that in juvenile hemochromatosis, the efficacy of the chelation therapy and probably the chronic interval required to restore normal iron concentration both play important roles in the formation of glucose metabolism characteristics.

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