The UK NSC recommendation on Haemochromatosis screening in adults (currently under review)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Jul 2019.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Screening is not recommended because:

  • although a faulty HFE gene is known to cause iron to build up, this does not happen to every person with a faulty gene
  • screening would identify people who may never experience symptoms
  • there was no evidence to suggest that a screening programme would be effective

More about Haemochromatosis

Haemochromatosis is a condition where iron levels build up in the   body over time. Deposits of iron begin to increase around various organs, including the heart and liver. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as   nausea, abdominal pain, constipation and joint pain. It can also lead to   liver damage, heart failure and diabetes. 

» Read more about haemochromatosis on NHS UK


British Association for Study of the Liver
British Liver Nurses' Forum
The British Liver Trust
British Society of Gastroenterology
Faculty of Public Health
Haemochromatosis UK
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- haemochromatosis (2015) (PDF document, 1.13MB, 10/12/19)
icon UK NSC coversheet and consultation documents- haemochromatosis (2016) (PDF document, 677KB, 10/12/19)

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