African iron overload

Common Name(s)

African iron overload, Bantu siderosis

African iron overload (Bantu siderosis) is a rare disease which is characterized by having too much iron in the body. The human body is not able to get rid of excess iron; iron levels in the body are regulated by how much is absorbed from the diet. This disorder is primarily seen in the sub-Saharan African populations and is attributed to the high amount of iron in their diet, specifically from their domestic beer which is heavy in iron due to the techniques used to prepare the beer. The symptoms are largely dependent on how much iron accumulates and where it accumulates. Excess iron is typically stored in the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Symptoms often include chronic liver disease (cirrhosis), decreased ability to fight infections and an increased risk for liver cancer. Other less common findings may include heart disease, high blood pressure, fluid accumulation in abdominal area, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

African iron overload is most common in the rural areas of central and southern Africa where it is thought to affect up to 10% of the population and affects men more often than women. Because it seems to run in families, there are likely genetic factors involved, however, a diet high in iron seems to be the most influential risk factor. Iron overload is best diagnosed with a variety of blood tests to assess the total body iron. A liver biopsy detects the iron concentration in the liver and MRIs can measure the amount of iron accumulation through magnetism in the liver, heart, and pituitary gland. The amount of hemoglobin is important when considering treatment options. If the patient has an ample blood supply, a physician can perform a phlebotomy (drawing blood). When the hemoglobin levels are too low, iron removal drugs can be used. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with African iron overload, talk with your doctor or specialist about the most current treatment options.

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Following organizations serve the condition "African iron overload" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "African iron overload" returned 7 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Mild iron overload in an African American man with SLC40A1 D270V.
 

Author(s): Pauline L Lee, Terry Gaasterland, James C Barton

Journal: Acta Haematol.. 2012 ;128(1):28-32.

 

We report on a 46-year-old black man who resided in Alabama with normal transferrin saturation, mild hyperferritinemia, chronic hepatitis C, and 3+ iron in hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. Exome sequencing revealed heterozygosity for SLC40A1 D270V (exon 7, c.809A→T), a mutation previously ...

Last Updated: 4 Jul 2012

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Sideroblastic anemia, iron overload, and ALAS2 R452S in African-American males: phenotype and genotype features of five unrelated patients.
 

Author(s): Pauline L Lee, Thomas J Reid, Sylvia S Bottomley, James C Barton

Journal: Am. J. Hematol.. 2011 Sep;86(9):787-9.

 

Last Updated: 18 Aug 2011

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Bivariate mixture modeling of transferrin saturation and serum ferritin concentration in Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and whites in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study.
 

Author(s): Christine E McLaren, Victor R Gordeuk, Wen-Pin Chen, James C Barton, Ronald T Acton, Mark Speechley, Oswaldo Castro, Paul C Adams, Beverly M Snively, Emily L Harris, David M Reboussin, Geoffrey J McLachlan, Richard Bean,

Journal: Transl Res. 2008 Feb;151(2):97-109.

 

Bivariate mixture modeling was used to analyze joint population distributions of transferrin saturation (TS) and serum ferritin concentration (SF) measured in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study. Four components (C1, C2, C3, and C4) with successively age-adjusted ...

Last Updated: 18 Jan 2008

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

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The terms "African iron overload" returned 1 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Hepatocellular carcinoma and African iron overload.
 

Author(s): I T Gangaidzo, V R Gordeuk

Journal: Gut. 1995 Nov;37(5):727-30.

 

Both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and iron overload are important health problems in Africa. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is recognised as a major risk factor for HCC, but iron overload in Africans has not been considered in pathogenesis. Up to half the patients with ...

Last Updated: 20 Feb 1996

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