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J Intern Med. 2010 Sep;268(3):252-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02217.x. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Haemochromatosis genotype and iron overload: association with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry and the Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Herlev, Denmark.



We hypothesized that there is an association between haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and/or iron overload and risk of hypertension and/or left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).


We analysed data from a cross-sectional study of the general population including 8992 individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS), a follow-up study of 36,480 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study (CGPS), and a case-only study of 3815 Scandinavians from the Losartan Intervention For End-point Reduction in Hypertension Genetic Substudy (LIFEGEN) with LVH and hypertension.


In the CCHS, individuals with C282Y/C282Y versus wild type/wild type had an odds ratio for antihypertensive medication use of 4.8 (1.8-13; P = 0.003). In the CGPS, the corresponding hazard ratio was 1.7 (1.0-2.3; P = 0.003). Also, hazard ratios for antihypertensive medication use in the CGPS were 1.6 (1.0-2.6; P = 0.05) for transferrin saturation > or =80% vs. <50%, and 2.3 (1.3-4.2; P = 0.005) for C282Y/C282Y + transferrin saturation > or =80% vs. wild type/wild type + transferrin saturation <50%. These results were most pronounced in men above 55 years of age. We did not find any association between C282Y/C282Y or iron overload and LVH or hypertension (measured as blood pressure at a single occasion or continuous blood pressure), or LVH with hypertension in the CCHS or with severity of LVH in LIFEGEN.


We found that haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and extremely elevated transferrin saturation either separately or combined were associated with increased risk of antihypertensive medication use. Therefore, testing for haemochromatosis genotype C282Y/C282Y and extreme transferrin saturation could be considered in patients with essential hypertension.

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