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June 1974


Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(6):1072. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320180190021

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To the Editor.  —I tried to make two points in my article: first, that a number of the epidemiologic and clinical features of primary and secondary hemochromatosis are consistent with the hypothesis that they are the respective consequences of inheriting a pair of, or a single, abnormal allele of a recessive "iron-balance gene"; and second, that such a formulation requires the paradoxical assumption that posession of a single recessive gene can be associated with phenotypic effects.The article by Lloyd et al not only does not offer convincing evidence for a "dominant pattern" of inheritance of hemochromatosis, but it also exemplifies the sterility of classic genetic terminology in furthering our understanding of the disease. The parents of the proband died at 79 and 55 years, apparently with neither showing evidence of this disorder. Two of the proband's daughters showed frank hemochromatosis, while the other two, though apparently healthy, exhibited grade

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