Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care

Lighten the overload of Australia’s most common genetic disorder

Haemochromatosis Australia 2 mins read
Seeing Red at Optus Stadium. World Haemochromatosis Awareness

MEDIA RELEASE

Optus Stadium and 100 other well-known buildings and landmarks across WA and Australia will turn red from tonight until 7 June, shining a light on an extremely common genetic condition that most people have never heard of.

It is part of a worldwide initiative to raise awareness of haemochromatosis – also known as iron overload – and to prompt people to get tested. Most people know that having too little iron in your body can cause anaemia, which is characterised by tiredness and lethargy, but few people know that the same symptoms can also be caused by having too much iron.

The hereditary condition, which is passed on from both biological parents, is simple to detect and treat but if undiagnosed or ignored can lead to serious and life-threatening illness, including liver disease and diabetes. One in seven Australians carry one copy of the defective gene, while and one in 200 Australians have two copies, which puts them at high risk of developing the condition.

Dr Dan Johnstone, an iron researcher who also has the condition, says early detection is key to minimising or preventing permanent damage. “Awareness of haemochromatosis is more important now than ever as early diagnosis will help save lives, cut health costs and reduce unnecessary suffering for so many individuals and families. Everybody is different; some people will have early symptoms of fatigue or joint aches while others won’t know they have the condition until the damage is already done. Anyone who suspects they may have this condition should ask their GP for a blood test. Haemochromatosis is not a burden in your life if you get on to it early. Early diagnosis is key to managing and reducing complications. It is usually managed by a regime of therapeutic blood donations, at an Australian Red Cross Lifeblood donor centre. This is a classic win-win situation, benefiting both the individual and the community,” said Dr Johnstone.

Haemochromatosis Australia spokesperson, Tony Moorhead, said, “Despite being the most common genetic disorder in Australia, haemochromatosis is often underdiagnosed because people don’t know about it and symptoms are non-specific. Unfortunately, most of those affected aren’t diagnosed until aged in their mid-forties and already suffering ill health. “There are people with the condition who should have been diagnosed decades earlier. This would have reduced the suffering, medical cost and even loss of life that results from iron overload. If haemochromatosis is detected early enough it is completely preventable – those affected need never get sick, they simply need to donate blood to maintain normal iron levels and their health.” Mr Moorhead says. “Hereditary haemochromatosis is estimated to cost Australia’s health system about $280 million annually and to add further cost burdens by compounding other chronic conditions.” Haemochromatosis is easy to test, simple to treat but tragic to ignore. -

 

ENDS Landmarks lighting up can be found here: www.ha.org.au/whats-on/world-haemochromatosis-week/lighten-the-overload/


Key Facts:

* Australia's most common genetic disorder, that most have never heard of

* World Haemochromatosis Awareness Week June 1 - 7 

*Interviews available 

* Landmarks lighting up in red can be found here: www.ha.org.au/whats-on/world-haemochromatosis-week/lighten-the-overload/


About us:

To find out more visit www.ha.org.au/haemochromatosis


Contact details:

Kellie Curtain M: 0412339690 kellie@indeliblemarks.net 

Media

More from this category

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 25/04/2024
  • 09:05
Royal Australian College of GPs

More needs to be done for veterans missing out on care

More can be done to ensure veterans can access the care they need for chronic conditions, says the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP). In a submission to an independent evaluation of the Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program, the peak body for GPs called for improvements to the scheme to help veterans access care. The CVC provides funding for care coordination in general practice for Veteran Gold Card holders with chronic conditions and Veteran White Card holders with chronic Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)-accepted mental health conditions. RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said simple changes to the CVC would improve…

  • Education Training, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 24/04/2024
  • 16:17
La Trobe University

La Trobe awarded almost $1 million in research funding to improve antenatal care

A La Trobe University researcher has received almost $1 million in Federal Government funding to investigate ways to improve care for pregnant women. Six projects will share in $5 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Targeted Call for Research funding round, aimed at identifying how telehealth can be used most effectively and appropriately. Della Forster, Professor of Midwifery and Maternity Services Research with the Judith Lumley Centre and the Royal Women’s Hospital, received $999,585 for her team’s research into maternal and infant care. Professor Forster’s research looks at whether a combination of telehealth and face-to-face visits…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 24/04/2024
  • 15:58
Dementia Australia

WALLY LEWIS WELCOMES GOVERNMENT PLEDGE TO FUND CTE SUPPORT

Wally Lewis AM, Dementia Australia and Connecters Australia Ambassador, today welcomed the comments from the Hon Anika Wells MP, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport, in response to calls for $18M federal government funding for support services, education and awareness raising about concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). “While we are yet to see the details, knowing the Minister has confirmed there will be something in the federal budget to address our calls is fantastic news,” Mr Lewis said. “On behalf of the Concussion and CTE Coalition and all people impacted by chronic traumatic encephalopathy I say thank…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.