adult screening programme
Haemochromatosis is a condition where iron levels build up in the body over time. Deposits of iron begin to increase around various organs, including the heart and liver. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as nausea, abdominal pain, constipation and joint pain. It can also lead to liver damage, heart failure and diabetes.
Read more about haemochromatosis on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
The UK NSC does not recommend screening for haemochromatosis in adults. This is because:
- although a faulty HFE gene is known to cause iron to build up, this does not happen to every person with the faulty gene
- screening would identify people who may never experience symptoms
- there is limited evidence on whether treatment is more effective in individuals without symptoms compared with those who have symptoms
- there is no evidence that a screening programme is the best way of helping people with the condition
Supporting documents from the 2021 review
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.
Date previous review completed: 2021
Next review estimated to be completed: 2024 to 2025.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Haemochromatosis
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- British Association for Study of the Liver
- British Liver Nurses' Forum
- British Society of Gastroenterology
- Faculty of Public Health
- Haemochromatosis UK
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Nursing
- Royal College of Pathologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- The British Liver Trust