Frequency of ß-Thalassemia Trait among Pregnant Women Presenting at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences
Keywords:ß-Thalassemia, Thalassemia trait, Antenatal screening, Anemia, Iron deficiency, Thalassemia prevention
Abstract: Introduction: Thalassemia is a common inherited disorder in Pakistan with around 5000 new cases diagnosed every year. Despite various preventive measures taken at the national level, the disease burden is still not declining. In this study the incidence of ß Thalassemia trait among pregnant females presenting to a tertiary care hospital is measured. Methods: This study was conducted at Pakistan Institute of Medical sciences. 102 Pregnant females who were referred to us for hemoglobin electrophoresis from July 2017-June 2018 were included. Complete blood count, peripheral film, reticulocyte count and emoglobin
electrophoresis was performed for each patient. Results: The mean age was 25 years and the mean period of gestation was 30.30 weeks. Out of 102 patients, 5 (4.9%) were diagnosed as ß Thalassemia trait. Of these, 2 (40%) did not have a positive family history of Thalassemia. We compared the results of our study with those done at different regions of Pakistan and found variable incidence of carrier state in different regions of the country. Conclusion: Antenatal screening is a forward step towards minimizing incidence of Thalassemia in Pakistan however clinicians should be directed to refer these patients in early pregnancy.