Thirty two unrelated Italian subjects with idiopathic haemochromatosis were studied. HLA-A3 was present in 26 of them (81% v 22% in controls; p less than 0.001) and HLA B7 in eight (28% v 9%; p less than 0.01). There was no important association between idiopathic haemochromatosis and HLA B14. Subdividing the patients on the basis of their regional origin a noticeably higher prevalence of HLA Bw35 in patients with idiopathic haemochromatosis from north eastern Italy was found than in those from Lombardy, or in the controls; there were no differences in the incidence of HLA A3 and B7 between patients with idiopathic haemochromatosis from different areas. A high prevalence of A3, Bw35, and A3, B7 haplotypes was found in our patients with idiopathic haemochromatosis. A3, Bw35 could be the haplotype most commonly linked to the idiopathic haemochromatosis gene in north eastern Italy.
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