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Hemochromatosis Detection in a Health Screening Program at an Alabama Forest Products Mill

Barton, James C. MD; Cheatwood, Susan M. MSN, CRNP; Key, Timothy J. MD, MPH; Acton, Ronald T. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2002 - Volume 44 - Issue 8 - p 745-751

We analyzed hemochromatosis detection in a 11.5-year multiphasic health screening program at a forest products mill. There were 2199 participants: 2032 Whites (1506 men, 526 women) and 167 African Americans (124 men, 43 women); 85.0% of employees were screened. Iron and transferrin saturation were measured in a serum biochemistry profile on specimens obtained after overnight fasting; ferritin was measured in participants with elevated iron concentrations or transferrin saturation >48%. Participants with elevated ferritin levels underwent further evaluation. Eight White men were diagnosed to have hemochromatosis (frequency 0.0039 in Whites, 0.0053 in White men). The estimated cost per case detected was $8826. Family members of two participants with hemochromatosis were also diagnosed to have hemochromatosis or iron overload. We conclude that detecting hemochromatosis in a workplace multiphasic health screening program is efficacious and economical.

From the Southern Iron Disorders Center, Birmingham, AL (Dr Barton); Coosa Pines Health Center, Coosa Pines, Alabama (Ms Cheatwood, Dr Key); Key Occupational Health Solutions, Birmingham, AL (Dr key); and the Departments of Medicine, Microbiology, and Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL (Dr Acton).

Address correspondence to: Dr James C. Barton, G-105, 2022 Brookwood Medical Center Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.

This work was supported in part by Southern Iron Disorders Center.

Copyright © by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Copyright © 2002 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine