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HFE is a gene that codes for a protein called the HFE protein. This protein is involved in the regulation of iron in the body. Mutations in the HFE gene can cause a genetic disorder called hereditary hemochromatosis, which is a condition that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron. This excess iron can build up in the liver, heart, and other organs, leading to serious health problems such as liver disease, heart problems, and diabetes. Hereditary hemochromatosis is a common genetic disorder, especially among people of European ancestry. It is usually diagnosed in adulthood and can be treated by removing excess iron from the body through a process called phlebotomy.

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