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May 1962

Idiopathic Hemochromatosis in Menstruating Women: A Case Report and Review

Author Affiliations


Fellow in Hematology (Dr. Wasi), and Associate Professor (Dr. Block), Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(5):585-588. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620170083013

Introduction  Idiopathic hemochromatosis occurs at least 10 times more frequently in men than in women.1-3 The difference in the incidence between males and females have been ascribed to the protective effect of the loss of iron through the menstrual flow and pregnancy. When found in women it occurs primarily in 2 circumstances: (1) postmenopausal, and (2) in an unusual group of females with poor sexual development and marked cardiac insufficiency. The latter condition is known in the French literature as the endocrinocardiac syndrome.It is the purpose of this paper to describe the occurrence of idiopathic hemochromatosis in a 41-year-old female with normal menstrual flow and 4 pregnancies. To our knowledge there is only 1 similar case in the literature.4

Report of Case 

History.—  The patient was a 41-year-old white female housewife of German-Dutch and Scotch-Irish extraction who was admitted to Colorado General Hospital as a referral from

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