Detection of β-Thalassaemia Trait: A Study of Fifty Families:
AbstractThe objective of the study was to examine siblings of β-thalassaemia (β-thal) major children and identify cases of heterozygous β-thal in them. For this purpose 50 cases of β-thal major were selected and complete investigations were carried out in their siblings. The project was carried out in the Abbottabad district of NWFP. In this district β-thal is quite common. The incidence of β-thalassaemia can be reduced by identification of heterozygous cases and then genetic counseling to them. The off springs of a heterozygous couple have a 25% chances of having β-thalassaemia major children, 25% chances of heterozygous children and a 50% chance of normal children. In this part of the country consanguineous marriages are very common and it is easy to reduce the cases of β-thalassaemia major in the next generation by mere identification of heterozygous cases and marriage counseling. Another aim was to protect these children from iron overload. As β-thalassaemia minor and iron deficiency anemia have similar clinical and laboratory features and these children are more prone to develop iron overload if iron is given to them after wrongly recognizing the condition as iron deficiency anemia.
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