Skip to content
General News, Medical Health Aged Care

WA lightens the overload of Australia’s most common genetic disorder

Haemochromatosis Australia 2 mins read

MEDIA RELEASE Embargo until June 1, 2023 at 12.00am EST

West Australian landmarks along with around 100 well-known buildings and landmarks across Australia will turn red every evening from 1-7 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 

* 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:

Media enquiries:

Kellie Curtain M: 0412339690 kellie@indeliblemarks.net.au 

More from this category

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 05/03/2024
  • 11:07
Immunisation Foundation of Australia - CORRECT PHONE NUMBER: 0421 483 391

WA first to secure infant RSV immunisation – CORRECT PHONE NUMBER: 0421 483 391

WA first to secure infant RSV immunisation The first supply agreement in the southern hemisphere for the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infant immunisation known…

  • Contains:
  • General News
  • 05/03/2024
  • 10:41
IJM Australia

ONLINE HARMS MINISTERS MEETING SIGNALS CONTINUED FOCUS ON PLATFORM RESPONSIBILITY

Yesterday, the Albanese Government convened its second Online Harms Ministers Meeting, bringing together ministers across the Cabinet, led by Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland. IJM Australia policy and campaigns lead, Briony Camp, commented that the continued focus and progress on improving the online regulatory framework in Australia has far reaching benefits. “The Online Harms Ministers Meeting highlights the complexity of the issues we are seeking to tackle when we talk about online safety, and the variety of levels at which these need to be addressed,” Ms Camp said. “This not only includes areas such as online scamming, but also the…

  • Contains:
  • General News, Women
  • 05/03/2024
  • 10:21
UNSW Sydney

New domestic violence framework to improve NSW first responder skills

A new framework will help organisations in NSW better assess and manage domestic and family violence risk. UNSW academics have been engaged by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice to develop a new risk assessment framework to tackle the state’s high rates of domestic and family violence. Dr. Emma Buxton-Namisnyk from UNSW Law & Justice, along with faculty researchers Dr. Althea Gibson and Peta MacGillivray, will lead the project to re-position NSW government and non-government services as more effective first responders to domestic violence. The Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) represents a pivotal system reform that will help ensure…

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.