Iron Overload: Causes, Consequences, And Control

*Douglas P. Bentley

Department of Pathology, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Cardiff, UK
*Correspondence to dpbentley45@gmail.com

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.

Abstract

The endeavours of physicians taxed with the problem of iron deficiency over the last 100 years have successfully eliminated this as an issue of hematological interest. Iron overload, although by no means a new problem, has drawn much more attention over the last few decades. The development of reliable indicative tests of iron status since the early 1970s has sparked a revolution in our understanding of the mechanisms of iron absorption, the processes of internal iron metabolism, and the effects of iron in excess of physiological needs. There continues to be regular reviews of specific issues in iron overload but this article sets out our understanding of the principles of iron metabolism in the context of iron overload, and is intended to point the ways by which this potentially fatal disorder, created by nature or by man, might be overcome.

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