Malik Mahmood Ahmed, Sarosh Majid Salaria, Samina Qamar, Muhammad Ashraf Soaz, Mulazim Hussain Bukhari, Abdul Hayee Qureshi.
Incidence of ?-thalassemia Carriers in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.
Annals Punjab Med Coll Jan ;10(1):11-9.

Objective: To determine the frequency of β-thalassemia carriers in healthy population from Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir. Methods: In this cross sectional population based study, people from Muzaffarabad were motivated to get themselves tested for beta thalassemia trait. People found healthy on basis of a questionnaire and clinical examination were included in the study. Complete blood counts and peripheral smear review were performed on EDTA samples. Hemoglobin (Hb) electrophoresis was performed. Subjects with mean corpuscular volume (MCV), <76 fl, and/or mean corpuscular Hb (MCH), < 27 pg were subjected to hemoglobin A2 (HbA2) level estimation by elution method. Hemoglobin A2 of more than 3.5% was considered diagnostic for beta-thalassemia trait. Azad Kashmir is a territory with considerable ethnic heterogeneity. This is basically a tribal society with a high proposition of consanguineous marriages. We created awareness among the general population. Results: Found that gene is present in almost all tribes studied. Conclusion; - Using strict criteria for healthy population, we conclude that incidence of thalassemia trait is 5.6 % in our study population. β -thalassemia trait is present in almost all ethnic groups. To control thalassemia major, screening program for thalassemia carriers must be initiated in the area.

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