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Heterozygosity for the haemochromatosis mutation HFE C282Y is not a risk factor for angina
  1. G P Feeney2,
  2. P A L Ashfield-Watt1,
  3. M L Burr1,
  4. F D J Dunstan1,
  5. I F W McDowell1,
  6. M Worwood2
  1. 1Cardiovascular Sciences Research Group, Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Centre for Applied Public Health Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2Department of Haematology, University of Wales College of Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Mark Worwood
    Department of Haematology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK;

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The incidence of cardiovascular disease increases progressively with age in men and is more common in younger men than in women of similar age. The difference in incidence of cardiovascular disease between the sexes diminishes in the elderly, as the incidence of female cardiovascular disease increases with age in post-menopausal females. This pattern coincides with that of iron stores; in men iron stores increase with age, while menstrual blood loss means that pre-menopausal women have little or no storage of iron with iron only accumulating post-menopause. This link was used by Sullivan1 to propose that excess iron is important to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Blood donation reduces body iron stores and comparing donors and non-donors provides a way of testing this hypothesis. In two studies the incidence of heart disease was found to be reduced in male blood donors, but no such reduction was found in a later, prospective study of …

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