There is a very small chance that the results of a hemochromatosis
gene test may not be accurate if you have had a blood transfusion done within a
week of the test.
What To Think About
The discovery of a genetic disease that is not causing symptoms now should not affect your future ability to gain employment or health insurance coverage. A law in the United States, called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), protects people who have DNA differences that may affect their health. This law does not cover life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance.
The information obtained from an HFE test can have a big impact
on your life. Genetic counselors are trained to help you understand your chance
for having a child with an inherited (genetic) disease. A genetic counselor can
help you make well-informed decisions. Ask to have genetic counseling before
making a decision about HFE testing.
HFE testing is not able to
predict whether you will have hemochromatosis. Although the test locates the
most common HFE mutations, there may be other HFE mutations that the test does
not find. You may have HFE mutations and not have the disease or you may have
symptoms of the disease but gene testing does not find any mutations.
HFE gene testing may identify the cause of high iron levels and
eliminate the need for other tests, such as a
Iron and ferritin levels may
also be checked at the same time as a hemochromatosis gene test.