Heritability of serum iron measures in the hemochromatosis and iron overload screening (HEIRS) family study

Christine E. McLaren, James C. Barton, John H. Eckfeldt, Gordon D. McLaren, Ronald T. Acton, Paul C. Adams, Leora F. Henkin, Victor R. Gordeuk, Chris D. Vulpe, Emily L. Harris, Barbara W. Harrison, Jacob A. Reiss, Beverly M. Snively

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Abstract

Heritability is the proportion of observed variation in a trait among individuals in a population that is attributable to hereditary factors. The Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening family study estimated heritability of serum iron measures. Probands were HFE C282Y homozygotes or non-C282Y homozygotes with elevated transferrin saturation (TS > 50%, men; TS > 45%, women) and serum ferritin concentration (SF > 300 μg/L, men; SF > 200 μg/L, women). Heritability (h2) was estimated by variance component analysis of TS, natural logarithm (ln) of SF, and unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC). Participants (N = 942) were 77% Caucasians, 10% Asians, 8% Hispanics, and 5% other race/ethnicities. Average age (SD) was 49 (16) years; 57% were female. For HFE C282Y homozygote probands and their family members, excluding variation due to HFE C282Y and H63D genotype and measured demographic and environmental factors, the residual h2 (SE) was 0.21 (0.07) for TS, 0.37 (0.08) for ln SF, and 0.34 (0.08) for UIBC (all P < 0.0004 for comparisons with zero). For the non-C282Y homozygote proband group, residual h2 was significant with a value of 0.64 (0.26) for ln SF (P = 0.0096). In conclusion, serum iron measures have significant heritability components, after excluding known genetic and nongenetic sources of variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

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    McLaren, C. E., Barton, J. C., Eckfeldt, J. H., McLaren, G. D., Acton, R. T., Adams, P. C., Henkin, L. F., Gordeuk, V. R., Vulpe, C. D., Harris, E. L., Harrison, B. W., Reiss, J. A., & Snively, B. M. (2010). Heritability of serum iron measures in the hemochromatosis and iron overload screening (HEIRS) family study. American Journal of Hematology, 85(2), 101-105. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajh.21585