Pregnant? Rule out thalassemia

Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anaemia.

Prenatal screening for thalassemia is important to ensure that to be mothers do not face any adverse conditions that can create problems during pregnancy and after for them and their to be children.

On the eve of Mother’s Day, 13 May, Metropolis Healthcare has conducted a survey to screen people for thalassemia. Of the 11131 people screened, there were 2934 males (26.35%), 6857 females (61.60%) and 1340 children (12.03%). Of these, 80% of screenings are reported normal whereas only 20 % were reported as abnormal.

• Of the 20% that have been reported abnormal, there were 731 males (32.83%), 1236 females (55.54%); 259 children (11.63%).

• Awareness of thalassemia screening is more among young females.

Commenting on the survey, Dr. Swati Mulani, Doctor In charge Haematology, Metropolis Healthcare said, “Thalassemia is an important cause of genetic morbidity and mortality in this country. Therefore, it is important to screen individuals with pre martially, antenataly or those with family history as well as undiagnosed cases of anemia for thalassemia. For females, diagnosis of thalassemia can be made as early as 10-11 weeks in pregnancy using procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling.”