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March 10, 1962


JAMA. 1962;179(10):801-802. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050100055012

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To most physicians the word "hemochromatosis" conjures up the textbook image of a middle-aged, bronzed, diabetic male with relentlessly progressive liver disease. Most information on this particular pigeon-hole in the increasingly complicated field of iron storage diseases comes from the pens of pathologists who have reviewed large autopsy series. In fact, it has been said by some that the diagnosis can only be made by postmortem examination. However, a more optimistic approach favors early recognition and phlebotomy treatment, which may greatly ameliorate the clinical picture.

In this issue of The Journal, p. 747, an attempt has been made to indicate an inherited cause for idiopathic hemochromatosis. This preliminary report of one family in which 2 brothers were known to have hemochromatosis has already yielded evidence of an iron storage disorder in each of the 3 generations studied. To elaborate more precisely the familial incidence, future examination of both parents of

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