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Training & Education - Family-based DetectionPatients and Their Families


A hemochromatosis diagnosis identifies a patient who needs treatment and a family potentially at risk.

Encouraging hemochromatosis patients to urge family members (blood relatives) to have biochemical tests for iron overload (fasting transferrin saturation and serum ferritin) is an important disease prevention opportunity.

A patient who has hereditary hemochromatosis is often highly motivated to speak to family members about this preventable disease.

Family-based detection is an efficient way to identify those who have an increased risk of developing hemochromatosis, but it requires careful attention to patient confidentiality and preferences.

  • Health care providers can facilitate family detection by counseling patients about the value of informing family members.
  • A common approach is to give patients printed information about hemochromatosis and a letter for family members that encourages them to be tested for iron overload by their regular health care providers.

Downloadable Patient Information

Download information hemochromatosis patients can share with family members, Talking with Your Family Members About Hemochromatosis. This can be printed on your office letterhead.

Download the letter for patients to give to their immediate family members explaining family-based detection. This letter can be printed on your office letterhead.

Download the CDC Brochure Iron Overload and Hemochromatosis: Information for patients and their families

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