In this study, doctors from the United States evaluated the effect of an educational program on detection and management of hereditary hemochromatosis.
The team measured changes in clinical management for newly diagnosed cases before and after the educational program.
The effect of the program on the detection of hereditary hemochromatosis cases was determined using a mail survey sent to primary care physicians.
|Diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis:|
- Before the study = 54 yrs
- After the study = 45 yrs.
|Archives of Internal Medicine|
The doctors found that the median age at diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis was 54 years before the study, compared with 45 years after the study.
During the same period, the team determined that in patients with diagnosed hemochromatosis, the mean prestudy ferritin level changed from 1848 ng/mL to 606 ng/mL after the study.
Furthermore, the mean number of units removed by phlebotomy to complete "de-ironing" in diagnosed patients was 40 U before the study and 18 U after the study (P = .06).
The doctors also found that the number of months required for de-ironing was 15 months before the study and 6 months after the study.
The team determined that before the study, no primary care physician was screening for hereditary hemochromatosis.
Dr Alexander Hover and colleagues concluded, "Early detection and treatment of iron overload may be facilitated by educating health care providers and insurers about an "iron-avid" state".
"Continued education of physicians concerning diagnosis and treatment of hereditary hemochromatosis aids progress toward increased early case detection".