Background: Haemoglobinopathies are a group of inherited disorders of haemoglobin synthesis. Their frequency varies considerably with geographic location and ethnic group.
Aims: To establish the prevalence of haemoglobinopathies in a mainly healthy Iranian population.
Methods: All files of the haematology unit of the Boghrat laboratory over a period of 10 years (1998–2007) were analysed in relation to the age, sex, full blood count, haemoglobin electrophoresis results, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) findings, and iron profile of healthy subjects referred for consultation before marriage. Other tests were performed if indicated.
Results: There were 34 030 files; 13 432 (39.5%) were for men, and 20 567 (60.4%) for women. 0.74% of subjects (255) showed a haemoglobinopathy. The distribution of variant haemoglobins in these 255 subjects was: Hb D 75.67% (193 cases), Hb S 4.7%, Hb E 3.13%, Hb O-Arab 1.96% and Hb Lepore 0.39%. A fast haemoglobin was found in 4.71% of subjects. Of the subjects tested, 13.2% (4478) had β-thalassaemia minor, 0.2% (52) β-thalassaemia intermedia and 0.1% (30) β-thalassaemia major.
Conclusions: In comparison with other parts of world, there is a different pattern of haemoglobinopathy with a high prevalence of Hb D, which appears to be Hb D Iran.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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