In 1993-95 blood samples were obtained from 3,348 twins, for whom extensive information on drinking, smoking and other lifestyle habits, and reproductive and menstrual history in women, were available. Samples were assayed for serum iron, transferrin and ferritin and were typed for the CY and HD polymorphisms in the haemochromatosis gene, HFE. We are now quantifying the effects of all these variables on parameters of iron metabolism in the normal population.
(N.G. Martin, G. Zhu, L.W. Powell in collaboration with J.B. Whitfield, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney)