Annals of Saudi medicine

Prevalence of iron overload complications among patients with b-thalassemia major treated at Dubai Thalassemia Centre.

PMID 23458935


Authors and team members of the Dubai Thalassemia Centre obtained data on the prevalence of iron overload complications among patients with b-thalassemia major (b-TM) and compared it to international data to improve patient care and evaluate the effectiveness of earlier used treatment modalities. The information obtained is also expected to be useful in genetic counseling. Cross-sectional study of all living transfusion-dependent b-TM patients registered at the Thalassemia Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, until the end of 2007 (n=382). Diagnosis of TM was based on clinical history and laboratory confirmation by hemoglobin electrophoresis and DNA testing. All were uniformly treated with desferrioxamine and monitored by serial serum ferritin. results: The mean (SD) age of patients was 15.4 (7.6) years, with 50.5% males. Mean (SD) serum ferritin was 2597.2 (1976.8) micro g/L. The frequency of iron overload complications were as follows: hypogonadism (n=99, 52.7%), hypoparathyroidism (n=40, 10.5%), diabetes mellitus (n=40, 10.5%), hypothyroidism (n=24, 6.5%) and cardiomyopathies (n=7, 1.8%). Hypogonadism was the most common endocrine abnormality in our study and other reported series. However, cardiomyopathies were less prevalent among our patients with higher rates of diabetes and hypoparathyroidism compared to rates reported internationally. Females had statistically significant lower serum ferritin (2530.8 (1931.2), P < .05) with a lower cardiomyopathies rate. Iron overload related complications among our patients with thalassemia major were different from those reported internationally. Studying the genetic status of patients from our area may uncover the underlying genetic modifiers of iron overload mediated organs injury.