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Health insurance company offers genetic screening to its clients

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1364
  1. Annette Tuffs
  1. Heidelberg

A German health insurance company has offered all of its customers a test for a genetic disorder so that they can receive early treatment if they are affected. Four thousand customers took up the offer, and 67 were told that they were at high risk of the disease.

In cooperation with the Hanover Medical School, the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse (KKH), a health insurance company with about two million customers, has offered all of its clients a test for the hereditary disease haemochromatosis, a disorder in which the body stores too much iron. The results were given exclusively to the people tested and not divulged to the company.

Haemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive disorder, …

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