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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 9, No. 1, 2009, pp. 46-48
Bioline Code: hs09008
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2009, pp. 46-48

 en Beta thalassaemiatriat in western Nigeria
Kotila, Taiwo R.; Adeyemo, Adebowale A.; Mewoyeka, Olusoji O. & Shokunb, Wuraola A.


Background: Genes for thalassaemia, haemoglobin S, Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase which confer resistance to malaria are found in high frequencies in Nigeria, 25% of the population being carriers of the sickle cell trait while another 25% are hemizygous for the G6PD gene. The frequency of alpha thalassaemia is equally high among Nigerians but there is little information on beta thalassaemia in this population. A recent study however suggest a high prevalence of beta thalassaemia in the same population, hence the need for this study.
Methods: Haemoglobin A2 and HbF were determined in healthy adults who have haemoglobin A genotype by elution after electrophoresis and alkaline denaturation methods respectively.
Results: The mean HbA2 among the subjects was 3.3% (range 2.0-5.6%) while the mean HbF was 2.6% (range 0.4-8.8%). Twenty-six percent of the subjects had HbA2 values higher than 3.9% while 86% had HbF values greater than 1%, twenty-four percent had elevated HbA2 and HbF. The mean HbA2 value was 2.7% among those with HbF <1%, 3.6% among those with HbF 1-3% and 3.1% among those with HbF >3%.
Conclusion: These findings confirm that the frequency of beta thalassaemia in western Nigeria is higher than previously thought and that many of the individuals studied may be silent carriers of the beta thalassaemia trait. Its presence may also have been masked by the high prevalence of alpha thalassaemia in the same environment. It is therefore important to consider beta thalassaemia trait as a differential diagnosis in patients who present with haemolytic anaemia in this environment

Beta thalassaemia trait, haemoglobin A2, haemoglobin F, silent carrier.

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