Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 10, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Thalassemia is a blood disorder inherited through families in which the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in large numbers of red blood cells being destroyed, which causes anaemia. According to a recent case study, the highest prevalence of beta thalassemia, which results from one or more genetic defects, is in India, Bangladesh and South East Asia (where the carrier frequency is approximately 1–5%). Worldwide, it has 80 to 90million carriers (1.5% of the global population).
There are two main types of thalassemia; alpha thalassemia occurs when one or more genes related to the alpha globin protein are missing or mutated. Beta thalassemia occurs when similar gene defects affect production of the beta globin protein.
Dr Vip Viprakasit, Department of Paediatrics and Thalassemia Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, is the co-author of the study. He says, “There are two main types of thalassemia patients; TDT (Transfusion Dependent Thalassemia) and NTDT (Non-Transfusion Dependent Thalassemia). These two conditions will need an extensive clinical and laboratory evaluation including DNA technology for properly diagnosis both. Due to the heterogeneity of mutations underlying thalassemia, DNA testing is the best way to provide the most accurate diagnosis of thalassemia.”
Dr Viprakasit will discuss the key techniques for the management of thalassemia at the haematology conference at MEDLAB Asia Pacific, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore from 18-20 March 2015.
In the past, α- and β-thalassaemias were restricted to malaria-endemic tropical and subtropical regions. However, in recent years, human global migration from these regions has caused an increase in these conditions in countries previously relatively unaffected by thalassaemias, such as those in North Europe and North America. Therefore, thalassaemia syndromes are no longer ‘rare’ conditions in such regions and warrant awareness from all health care providers involved.
Patients suffering from thalassemia should be constantly monitored by a specialist in order to manage their condition long-term. They should therefore be referred to a haematologist as soon as they are diagnosed.