The ferroportin polymorphism SLC40A1 Q248H (exon 6, cDNA 744G→T; Gln248His) occurs in persons of sub-Saharan African descent with and without iron overload, and is associated with elevated serum ferritin concentrations (SF). However, the risk of iron overload associated with Q248H has not been defined. We tabulated previously reported Q248H allele frequency estimates in African-Americans and Native Africans, and computed the risk of iron overload associated with Q248H in subjects who lacked HFE C282Y. The aggregate Q248H allele frequency in 1038 African-Americans in two cohorts from Alabama and one cohort each from Washington, DC and California was 0.0525 (95% CI: 0.0451, 0.0652); there was no significant difference in frequencies across these cohorts. The aggregate frequency in 259 Natives from southeast Africa in two cohorts was 0.0946 (95% CI: 0.0694, 0.1198); the difference between the frequencies of these cohorts was not significant. The aggregate Q248H frequencies in African-Americans and Native Africans differed significantly (0.0525 vs. 0.0946, respectively; p = 0.0021). There were reports of 24 unrelated African-Americans and 15 unrelated Native Africans without HFE C282Y who had iron overload. In African-Americans, the odds ratio (OR) of Q248H-associated risk of iron overload using 610 C282Y-negative control subjects unselected for SF was 1.57 (95% CI: 0.52, 4.72; p = 0.29). In Native Africans, the OR using 208 control subjects unselected for SF was 1.05 (95% CI: 0.28, 3.90; p = 0.58). We conclude that the frequency of SLC40A1 Q248H is significantly lower in African-Americans than in Native Africans. Although OR estimates of iron overload in African-Americans and Native Africans with Q248H were greater than unity, the increased OR were not statistically significant. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.