In 48 patients on maintenance haemodialysis (HD), serum ferritin (SF) levels were measured and compared with ‘haemochromatosis alleles’, (HA), HLA A3, B7 and B14. A positive correlation was found between high SF levels and the presence of HA. When patients who had received 10 or fewer blood transfusions were studied, it was observed that this correlation did not exist, but it was evident, however, in patients who had received more than 10 blood transfusions. After 14 months in which blood transfusions were restricted, no significant difference in SF was observed between HA carriers and the rest. Our findings suggest that repeated blood transfusions can cause high SF in HD patients, especially in those with HLA A3, B7 or B14 antigens. Among our patients, restriction of blood transfusions seems sufficient to decrease high SF levels.