Who Should Be Screened?
Screening is only recommended for people who have an increased chance of having
the disease, such as those with other family members who have hereditary
hemochromatosis. The test may be ordered if you have
a close family member—parent, brother, sister, or child—with the
condition. It is best to get tested
when you are age 18 to 30 when tests can usually detect the disease before
serious organ damage occurs.
Genetic counseling to help you understand the meaning
and possible results of the test is recommended before having genetic
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend genetic screening for
hemochromatosis in the general population.1 Screening is not recommended for the general population because hemochromatosis is not common. The
general population includes people who do not have symptoms of hemochromatosis
and who do not have a parent, brother, sister, or child with the
Anyone can have the test, but a doctor must order it. You
may decide to have HFE testing if other people in your family have hereditary
- You want to see if you have the gene mutation too.
- You want to see how likely it will be that you will pass
the disease on to your children.